I have a confession to make: I've spent several hundred dollars on Steam Controllers......

mattferg

Posts: 149   +153
“It’s not bad you’re just using it wrong!”

Buddy, if users weren’t able to easily figure out how to use it without hating themselves, it’s bad.

Controllers are input devices - they should be natural to use and not require remapping and mods etc to work.
 

SamiHA

Posts: 33   +42
Staff member
It took me a while to get sorted out with the Steam Controller, but once I did, it proved to be a very versatile controller that worked well in games that don't typically have excellent controller support and options. The ability to use and rate other users configs also helps speed up the process!
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 396   +684
I really don't understand how you can justify using the phrase "Poor launch day experience" and then immediately follow it by "Impatient reviewers": you can't have it both ways: Either Valve jumped the gun or the reviewers were unfair, I'm inclined to think this was just Valve.

And this is because we know historically, Valve is a terribly disorganized and inefficient company that botches nearly every single important launch: they inspired "Valve time" to begin with and when they started to push the controller and steam boxes my immediate reaction was: "If they think they can get away with Valve time and release issues for hardware, they'll fail" and lo and behold: that is exactly what happened.

Bottom line is that what might be ok for game development just doesn't works when trying to aim for a much larger market appeal like a hardware based release aims to do. This damn controller basically brought down the entire Steam OS project down with it: The Linux side of things actually gained a lot of momentum when first announced but Valve just kept delaying it for NO GOOD REASON other than to just wait to get the controller right, which they couldn't even do.

Valve helped Linux for gaming a lot and still does to this day, but if there was ever a moment to push it through to a lot more people was during the initial announcement and hype of Steam OS but Valve time killed the momentum, and it's all because of your precious, stupid, pointless controller.
 

QueueCumber

Posts: 16   +12
If you want to use controllers, buy a console. Stop eroding at the one thing that makes PC gaming fundamentally better than any system with a controller, I.e. mouse and keyboard (or variants thereof). We are making a whole generation of people who are imprecise and off target because we allow the games to assist their aiming. What a great way to handicap visuospatial reasoning and create unrealistic real-world expectations of skill building...
 
FINALLY. Thank you.

No surprise to see all the *** kissing knuckle dragging cave men *still* complaining about what a bad club this revolver makes. People weren't ready for it then, they're not ready for it now; gamers are delicate flowers who fear change that makes them learn new things because then they'd feel like noobs again in one of the few areas they've found that give them confidence (blowing the heads off of other players online).

The Steam controller is the only controller I use (save for classic controllers used for emulation, and half the time I use an SC for that too), and I'll continue stocking up on every one I can find. Honestly, as much as I appreciate this article being written, I'm just as glad to see the comments and know that it isn't going to create any new competition in my race to collect as many as I can find.

I'll be using this ****er when I'm 60 and loving it.
 

QueueCumber

Posts: 16   +12
FINALLY. Thank you.

No surprise to see all the *** kissing knuckle dragging cave men *still* complaining about what a bad club this revolver makes. People weren't ready for it then, they're not ready for it now; gamers are delicate flowers who fear change that makes them learn new things because then they'd feel like noobs again in one of the few areas they've found that give them confidence (blowing the heads off of other players online).

The Steam controller is the only controller I use (save for classic controllers used for emulation, and half the time I use an SC for that too), and I'll continue stocking up on every one I can find. Honestly, as much as I appreciate this article being written, I'm just as glad to see the comments and know that it isn't going to create any new competition in my race to collect as many as I can find.

I'll be using this ****er when I'm 60 and loving it.

Unless you're in your mid to late 50s now, these types of controllers will likely be defunct when you hit that age. We will likely be using our minds to control games via chips at that point. They are already successfully using the technology with monkeys. It isn't far down the road now.
 

ArjunKL

Posts: 11   +11
Staff member
If you want to use controllers, buy a console. Stop eroding at the one thing that makes PC gaming fundamentally better than any system with a controller, I.e. mouse and keyboard (or variants thereof). We are making a whole generation of people who are imprecise and off target because we allow the games to assist their aiming. What a great way to handicap visuospatial reasoning and create unrealistic real-world expectations of skill building...
I think your PC gaming use case is just very different from mine :) I mostly play single-player games, RPGs, immersive sims, and souls-likes. I have an RTX 3080-powered rig hooked up to a 55-in TV with a La Z boy in front. More than pixel-perfect aim, I’m looking for something that’s fine for Doom Eternal at Nightmare (which is the SC). My priority here is immersion. I’ve got a G402 and a Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard, but I mostly use them for work, and they serve me well enough the one time a year I jump into a multiplayer game. For 3rd person A-RPGs like Dark Souls 3 and Nioh, the capacitative D-Pad and the paddles are a boon. The paddles are the two extra buttons Nioh 2’s default config is missing so having the SC makes for a radically better experience. Would I use this for multiplayer? A bit of casual Destiny 2 here and there sure. Is it good for the single player campaigns in twitch shooters? Absolutely. Would I use it for regular multiplayer? No, but again, not what I use it for.
 

ArjunKL

Posts: 11   +11
Staff member
FINALLY. Thank you.

No surprise to see all the *** kissing knuckle dragging cave men *still* complaining about what a bad club this revolver makes. People weren't ready for it then, they're not ready for it now; gamers are delicate flowers who fear change that makes them learn new things because then they'd feel like noobs again in one of the few areas they've found that give them confidence (blowing the heads off of other players online).

The Steam controller is the only controller I use (save for classic controllers used for emulation, and half the time I use an SC for that too), and I'll continue stocking up on every one I can find. Honestly, as much as I appreciate this article being written, I'm just as glad to see the comments and know that it isn't going to create any new competition in my race to collect as many as I can find.

I'll be using this ****er when I'm 60 and loving it.

Lol glad to find at least one person who actually thinks that way. It’s just so much better once you figure out how to use it. And I mean the learning curve isn’t that bad: it took me a day or two to get the muscle memory to use it reasonably well. And now, regular controllers just kinda feel weird + no gyro!
 

QueueCumber

Posts: 16   +12
I think your PC gaming use case is just very different from mine :) I mostly play single-player games, RPGs, immersive sims, and souls-likes. I have an RTX 3080-powered rig hooked up to a 55-in TV with a La Z boy in front. More than pixel-perfect aim, I’m looking for something that’s fine for Doom Eternal at Nightmare (which is the SC). My priority here is immersion. I’ve got a G402 and a Keychron K6 mechanical keyboard, but I mostly use them for work, and they serve me well enough the one time a year I jump into a multiplayer game. For 3rd person A-RPGs like Dark Souls 3 and Nioh, the capacitative D-Pad and the paddles are a boon. The paddles are the two extra buttons Nioh 2’s default config is missing so having the SC makes for a radically better experience. Would I use this for multiplayer? A bit of casual Destiny 2 here and there sure. Is it good for the single player campaigns in twitch shooters? Absolutely. Would I use it for regular multiplayer? No, but again, not what I use it for.

I am good with whatever people want to use, really. It is the growing pervasiveness of aim assist that is problematic for me more than the controllers themselves. Especially as they mix PC and console FPS together on the same servers (COD CW). Why do they get an advantage I don't have, and one neither of us should have? It erodes at skill based playing... No bueno.

That being said, it is hard to think of a circumstance where a controller is more efficient and has more utility than available keyboard and mouse combos. Albeit, I do get the point that sometimes you want to relax in a beanbag and play a game.

I actually have a great racing simulator setup, so I use other controllers as well sometimes (Wheels, peddles, controllers buttons on racing wheels) for that setup, especially with Forza. So yeah, my gripe is mostly FPS gaming with controllers.
 
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mrtraver

Posts: 484   +233
This is the first time I have heard of the gyro aiming! I picked up my Steam controller when it was going for $5 (because it was $5), but I have used it maybe 3 times (it still has the original batteries) and hated it compared to my Xbox One controller or M+KB. I may have to dust it off and try again.

For those wondering why anyone would used a controller on a PC game, I have a couple of reasons. First, for driving or flying games, the analog sticks provide more precise directional control than WASD, which are inherently digital (on-off). For shooters where aiming is more important than precise movement, I do prefer the mouse and keyboard. Second, if I am using Steam Link or some other method of streaming to my TV in a different room, a controller is more portable than my wired keyboard and mouse.

 
Unless you're in your mid to late 50s now, these types of controllers will likely be defunct when you hit that age. We will likely be using our minds to control games via chips at that point. They are already successfully using the technology with monkeys. It isn't far down the road now.
Then why do I regularly use six different controllers either from or modeled after the originals of controllers ranging in age from 10 to 40 years old? Just because a Steam Controller or any Xinput gamepad can work in a Colecovision or NES or GameCube emulator or whatever doesn't mean I prefer it.

People like old hardware. To give you an idea of where I stand, I own a Coleco Adam and I still use it regularly.
 
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Lol glad to find at least one person who actually thinks that way. It’s just so much better once you figure out how to use it. And I mean the learning curve isn’t that bad: it took me a day or two to get the muscle memory to use it reasonably well. And now, regular controllers just kinda feel weird + no gyro!
It's not even a harsh curve, it's just that a curve exists at all that causes the issue. I'm a Linux nerd, tinkering is my whole gig, I never use anything without first diving into the config and making it "mine".

Tbh I'm used to my favs never winning out. I'm a Sega fan, after all. I still mourn the Dreamcast 😭😭😭
 
“It’s not bad you’re just using it wrong!”

Buddy, if users weren’t able to easily figure out how to use it without hating themselves, it’s bad.

Controllers are input devices - they should be natural to use and not require remapping and mods etc to work.

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLordXx8iNEyStcX_WzqM0JCpiJYgqhinc

Check out Razbuten's "Gaming for a non gamer series". In it, the lady he lives with struggles with the controls to do basic things such as moving the character and camera at the same time.

https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/alien-resurrection-review/1900-2637344/

Or how about this review of a game, where the dual stick controls we take for granted today were once described as being terrifying.

If we were to take the argument that having to learn it makes it bad, we'd have to say dual stick controls are bad in order to be logically consistent.

In truth, having to learn something doesnt make that thing inherently bad.

The reality is that the modern dual stick controller design has been around for more than 2 decades. Gamers likely have loads, and I mean loads loads, of experience with it.

So along comes the Steam Controller, and its got a wildly different design. Its more than a little naive to think no learning should be required to use it effectively.

And I get it. If someone doesnt want to learn and they just want to use whats familiar to them, that's fine. I just wish people would take ownership of their preference instead of saying something is bad simply because it doesnt fit their preference.
 
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Nobina

Posts: 2,994   +2,783
I kinda want to try this controller but there's no place to get it and it's probably expensive for what it is. I've been using KB+M my whole life and that's what I'm used to. Never saw the point of a controller but recently I got one (or two since the first one died) and it's much better for racing games if you don't own a wheel which is too gamery for me. Games that don't require a lot of buttons can be better on a controller since the response is better - subjectively.
 
I bought one when I knew they were being discontinued, if you have access to my email address save it. It's still new in the box and I have yet to test it so when your last steam controller no longer works chances are mine will still be tested but new. Interesting article, it is a shame when someone finally finds something they love it is *Poof* gone. Usually the case with just about everything I find and enjoy. Thanks for the read.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,461   +1,049
The steam controllers gyro and touchpads were fine. In fact it was cool. The problem was the shape of the thing and placement of the analogue stick. You have to break your left thumb to hit it. I do have small hands. But a lot of people have small hands.

If Steam had supported the controller properly and made newer improved designs it might have taken off. I mean look at the first Xbox controller - the duke, which became the daddy of the best controller around. Instead they did a Google with it. Like they do with a lot of their projects. Remember steam machines? Their attempt lock competing marketplaces out? Although not so bothered about that one failing.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,296   +1,475
"But the rest is the story of how a poor launch-day experience and impatient reviewers murdered what could have been the biggest paradigm shift in gaming..."

This fits the first impressions of DLSS.
Or really anything Nvidia comes out with that isn't open source.
 

toooooot

Posts: 1,468   +735
"But the rest is the story of how a poor launch-day experience and impatient reviewers murdered what could have been the biggest paradigm shift in gaming..."

This fits the first impressions of DLSS.
Or really anything Nvidia comes out with that isn't open source.
And it is good. We have got so many amazing things that were possible because they were built on open source. Punish them if they refuse to learn that lesson.