If you never wanted a Valve controller when they cost $50 but think $5 sounds great for a controller Valve is cancelling, you can buy a Steam Controller for $5. But you’d best order one soon, because as of December 3, these peripherals head off to the Big Cancelled Product List in the sky, presumably to hang out with Steam Machines and Half-Life 2 Episode 3.
Crap. Can’t make that joke any more.
The Steam Controller is actually a pretty unique piece of kit, with features like pinpoint tracking via trackpads and the most robust, customizable set of options ever fielded for a controller (at least, according to multiple reviewers who spent time with the product). General opinions online are positive, though the hardware takes some getting used to, since it’s radically different than anything else ever brought to market.
The Steam controller’s entire schtick is that it was designed to be a controller for people who didn’t ordinarily like controllers. I was never willing to take the jump on it at $50, but for $5, I’m willing to take the jump. People have uploaded custom controller configurations to Steam that you can peruse and adapt if you want to use them as a starting-off point for your own controls, and while I don’t typically customize inputs quite that much, I’m curious to get my hands on one of the hottest gaming peripherals of the mid-2010s. Might even take in that new JJ Abrams Star Wars movie in a month, assuming he doesn’t do something lame like retread the entire first movie.
Every now and then, you get an outpouring of love and support for a device right as it hits termination shock. I remember when Valve announced the Steam Controller, and I read some stories about it, but it got buried under a flood of news and I kind of forgot about it. I’ve written about Steam OS and Steam Link, but the Steam Controller skated along under the radar. If you’re like me, or just want to collect an odd piece of gaming history, you can grab one through December 3. Total price is about $13 shipped.
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