Steam Dev Days Goss: New Vive Controllers, Steam Link In TVs

Valve invited our mate Ian Video Games to their Steam Dev Days conference this week because “they recognise his genius potential”, or so he’d have you believe. Suspicious sorts have observed that the never-before-mentioned ‘twin brother’ housesitting to water Ian’s plants looks just like him, down to the same red wine stain on his jeans, with a stick-on moustache. Other say that the tweets and photos he’s ‘sending back’ from Seattle look suspiciously like tweets from actual developers who are actually there. No matter. Either way, Valve have been gabbing about prototype new Vive motion controllers, Steam Links included with Samsung televisions, and other Steamstuff.

Steam Dev Days, as its name might suggest, is a developers-only event about making games and selling ’em on Steam. That means no fans, no press. Ian says he got in because he was scouted at an airport by a game talent scout, like Kate Moss, but that… doesn’t check out. Let’s not dwell on it. I think I’ve found the tweets and vids he’s been claiming as his, so let’s crack on.

Here’s what we’ve learned. Valve have a new prototype Vive controller which straps onto your hand so: 1) you can drink a cuppa while playing; 2) they can track when you open and close your hand. No word on when/if this hardware which reach your hands at home – this is an event for devs, remember? Anyway, have a butcher’s:

And here’s a better look at ’em:

Another thing: Steam Link, the plug-in box which lets people stream games from their gaming computer to a television elsewhere in the building, will be “integrated into” some new Samsung televisions. That’s what Dave Oshry and the Steam Spy guy says. No biggie, but maybe handy if you’re a Steamer who happens to pick up a television with it.

What else? Steam’s Controller API will start supporting controllers beyond the Steam Controller, starting with the PlayStation 4’s pad. If a dev uses that API in their game, it means handy build-in support for things like gyro control, the touchpad, and no faffing about with controller configuration programs. Lars Doucet, a developer who co-hosted the Dev Days session on the API, goes over that in his transcript and slides.

If you’re at Steam Dev Days and reading this, please do go around asking everyone “Excuse me, are you Ian Video Games?” We’ve got a bet on and I intend to collect.

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13 Comments

  1. Retne says:

    Lars Doucet, eh. That reminds me to go play Defenders Quest again. Good game, good game.

  2. Moonracer says:

    Being able to use the PS4 controller on PC would be great, as I like the controller but have not missed my PS4 after it died.

    And that new Vive controller looks interesting. Though I’m guessing most VR enthusiasts are anxious for something closer to a glove like device. I suppose if this fits somewhere in the middle, with hand tracking, it could be good.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oakreef says:

      There’s already an official dongle for it from Sony.

    • khalilravanna says:

      You can actually use a ds4 with your pc as long as I can remember. Just connect it to your pc via usb and then install a program like DS4Windows and it should work fine. It will usually (always?) show up as a 360 controller in games but it’ll work fine. I think the difference with this update is you’ll no longer need to have that 3rd party program (DS4Windows or whatever else you use) to hook up the controller and have it be detected properly. Plus a more direct mapping for controls like touchpad etc (right now most programs just map the pad to a secondary mouse input).

      • felis says:

        At least in W10 you can just pair the dualshock 4 via bluetooth with a pc, natively. Everything works, including touchpad. No need for overpriced Sony dongles.

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Lots of games, especially if they are offered on PS4, will work right out of the box now. I’ve noticed a few that have started using the track pad as an extra button as well.

        The newest version of InputMapper is junk. I’d stick with DS4Windows right now if you want to go that route.

        I also recommend not bothering with Bluetooth as the input lag can make some games unplayable. Get a nice braided USB cord to go with it.

  3. Ethaor says:

    Also, Valve invested a ‘significant amount’ into Nitero, which job is to explore and develop a wireless option for the Vive in the near future.

    Also, Valve explained how the analog grasping controllers will be highly modular and customizable.

    Also they announced Vive support for ATW equivalent to come soon.

    Also, Valve talked about the single motor open source next gen Lighthouse basestations coming in 2017

    Also Valve said “people won’t be disappointed when they do hear what Valve is working on sometime next year.” when asked about VR hardware

    • Quite So says:

      All good stuff, but that last bit is why I won’t buy a VR headset for a while. I feel like the iterations are going to be significant enough that early adopters without generous discretionary budgets are going to be quickly left behind.

    • Premium User Badge

      kfix says:

      Excuse me, are you Ian Video Games?

  4. int says:

    That’s gonna be awesome for punchy games like Zeno Clash.

  5. Themadcow says:

    Hmm, I’m in the market for a new PC next year and a TV so that sounds tempting. If I run a network cable directly from my PC into a steam link enabled TV does it result in lag free streaming or is there still a little to account for?

    • khalilravanna says:

      From my experience connecting over wifi had some minor hiccups/freezes but since I’ve wired it directly to my modem via a switch it’s been smooth sailing. Lag-free 1080p pc gaming on my family room tv.

    • grundus says:

      It’s not quite the same thing, I know, but when I had my PC wired to my router and my laptop connected via 802.11ac, I had maybe 15ms of latency (at the most) while streaming Steam to it. That’s 0.015 seconds, which is imperceptible even in racing games. The network traffic should be very similar, maybe even more optimised for the Link, so yeah.

      So with a cable I’d expect you’d get practically zero.

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