Valve updates Steam Controller with new buttons, drops touchscreen

Ian Birnbaum at

Photo by Leszek Godlewski.

Valve is dropping the touchscreen from the center of its new experimental controller, according to attendees at the Steam Dev Days developer conference in Seattle. The move ditches the conceivably infinite number of buttons presentable on a touchscreen for a rather more finite, and traditional, D-pad and ABXY configuration. The haptic thumbpads will remain where they are—for now.

According to Engadget and the all-knowing #SteamDevDays Twitter feed, the change was made to improve backwards compatibility and keep people focused on the big screen with the game on it, rather than the little screen with the controls on it.

Valve has also revealed that its Steam Controller API will support up to 16 controllers at once for local multiplayer far beyond what’s been possible on consoles. Steam Controllers will use Bluetooth to communicate with Steam Machines.

The Steam Dev Days conference continues to make news every few seconds, so we’ll no doubt be back with more information throughout the week.