Valve’s first endeavor into the hardware market may begin in October or November, if a recent source in the industry is to be believed. According to an article on PC Gamer, the “trusted hardware source with knowledge of Valve’s Steam Machines project” revealed to them at PAX East that Valve is looking to ship their Steam Controller in October or November of this year. The controller, which recently had a little work done, is not only intended to be a healthy alternative to the standard Xbox 360 pad but also a major part of the up-coming Steam Machines. And though some of the Steam Machines will be available sooner than that, the PC Gamer source also stated that most of the builds are on hold until the completion of the new controller. That means that the official Steam Machines, Controller, and stable SteamOS may all be available by the end of 2014.
Hands-on impressions of the odd-looking Steam Controller have been mostly mixed. While the vast majority have not out-right said that it’s terrible, they’ve nearly unanimously felt that the haptic touch controls feel strange. The non-tactile touch-pads that are used instead of the traditional thumb-sticks are meant to give those who prefer a controller over keyboard & mouse a similar level of response and accuracy inherit in the latter method. Considering the bold moves made in its design, it’s likely one would need to spend a good amount of time with the controller to get the feel for it. Let’s hope this report is true and we all get to try it out as soon as possible. Currently there is no word on distributors or pricing.