Steambox controllers revert back to buttons
It as been a mixed day for steam fans today. In 3 months, the unique, revolutionary gaming platform, known best for its early access gaming, its extensive list of free to play mmo titles and calculator-breaking Steam Sales, has seen a leap in its fanbase; jumping 15%, breaking the 75 million user barrier. This news comes only a week after CES, where Steamboxes (or Steam Machines, depending on which marketing department you speak to), dominated the convention floor with a variety of new media and tech to access your steam account through.
All was going well, but one of their most talked about, critically complemented designs; the Steam touchscreen control pad has been wiped from the drawing boar, and the design team have instead opted for a more traditional, button oriented pad.
The center touch screen, from a mmorpg perspective, was invaluable as a shortcut device for all your favorite spells, specials and shortcuts, much like the system currently employed with the PlayStation 4 iteration of Warframe, where you can dash, heal and crowd control by swiping the pad in different directions.
The replacement for this pad is an impressive 8 buttons, so in its current incarnation, the pad appears to have 2 touch sensitive, analogue controls and 2 d-pad style digital inputs.
There has been a mixed reaction from the community, as some favored the bold innovations that Steam were employing, while others had a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, when it came to how they like their controllers.
The pads are still very much in their prototype phase, so be sure to keep checking in, as more ideas land on the design department's floor.