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Steam Controller Drops Touchscreen

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the walking-back-innovation dept.

Input Devices 84

An anonymous reader writes "Last year Valve announced a new game controller that was trying to innovate on the designs that have been with us for over a decade now. The biggest changes were replacing analog sticks with circular touchpads and plopping a small touchscreen into the middle of the controller. Valve has now revamped their prototype hardware, and the touchscreen is nowhere to be seen. In its place are stop/play buttons (which appear similar to start/select buttons) and a bigger Steam logo button. They've also moved around the directional and ABXY buttons, reverting to a more traditional layout (picture). They'll be demonstrating the latest prototype next week at GDC."

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Re: (2)

kurkosdr (2378710) | about 8 months ago | (#46494653)

Costs, of course. Making a competively priced gaming PC (steam machine) compared to consoles is hard but doable, throw in a controller with an expensive touchscreen and it becomes impossible. Valve apparently had second thoughts over impossing that extra cost on OEMs.

Re: (2)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46494795)

Making a competively priced gaming PC (steam machine) compared to consoles is hard but doable

Especially given that the Nintendo 64 was a stripped down SGI Indy, and the original Xbox, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One are made with PC parts.

throw in a controller with an expensive touchscreen and it becomes impossible.

What does this say about the Wii U GamePad?

Re: (4, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 8 months ago | (#46494863)

What does this say about the Wii U GamePad?

I'd posit that the Wii U sacrificed a significant amount of hardware in their console for the sake of that fancy gamepad. Even with this new console generation's modest hardware barely being able to render at HD resolutions, the Wii U is still a generation behind. That's not necessarily a criticism, mind you... it's a choice that you have to make about the realities of pricing and hardware specs. Nintendo obviously isn't trying to compete in the high-specs console market, and that's fine. They choose to innovate in other ways.

Valve has to make the same choices regarding price and hardware tradeoffs. Keep in mind that it might not only be about price - it could be that the touchscreen wasn't living up to their expectations in terms of performance. As such, why not go with a tried and true (and cheaper) alternative. After all, the big three have kept their analog sticks and D-pads all this time. There's surely a reason for this other than history or momentum.

It was a pretty bad choice (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 7 months ago | (#46495257)

Not the lower res/graphical fanciness, but the controller. It isn't that much fun to use as a controller because, well, it is fucking huge. It is a tablet. Thing is, if people wanted to play games on a tablet they'd probably do so and on one that could travel around with them.

Also it is pretty expensive. The screen, wireless interface, processor, all that jazz costs quite a bit and pushed up the cost of the Wii U. Part of what made the Wii successful was that it was really cheap compared to the "big 2" consoles. So people got it for kids or got it as an "and a" console along with their favoured of the bigger ones. This time though, the price advantage is not as much. It is still cheaper but not by as much.

So since the gimmick isn't something people are that interested in, and it drives up the price, it really hasn't been a good move. Despite being out a good bit longer than the Xboner and the PS4 it hasn't sold more.

Actually similar issue on the Xboner's side with the Kinect. That is the primary reason is costs more than the PS4, and that cost has been putting a damper on its sales. People just have no fucks to give about the controller gimmick, they wanna play games.

Both buttons and a touch screen (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46495851)

if people wanted to play games on a tablet they'd probably do so and on one that could travel around with them.

Touch-screen tablets are good for positional input. But some game genres are more suited toward directional input than positional input, especially things like platformers and fighting games. Trying to do directional input with a touch screen is painful, as shown in the demo of Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure. The advantage of Wii U GamePad over a tablet is that it has both traditional gaming controls (a directional control and discrete trigger buttons) and a touch screen. Only a few uncommon mobile devices, such as Sony's Xperia Play, Archos GamePad, and JXD gaming tablets, have both.

Re:Both buttons and a touch screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46496373)

The 3DS and PS Vita are common devices that give you both... Sure, the main screen is also in the same place, but control-wise, it's essentially the same.

Re:It was a pretty bad choice (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 7 months ago | (#46497539)

This. Every game I play I reach for the Pro controller instead. I don't use the Wii U controller unless I absolutely have to with one exception, when the TV is busy.

It is quite neat having the ability to keep playing on the controller if the TV suddenly becomes occupied and in those few cases turning the console into a portable was actually quite neat.

Not So Bad, However (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46516523)

It's not a tablet. Tablets for gaming don't have usefull ways of controlling the game. It's a controller surrounding a tablet connected to a console that has four other controlers connected to it. The controller feel really good for one wrapped around a tablet. Not as good as the Dualshock 4 or anything but still entirely funtional and comfortable. The tablet controller also, while being kind of gimicky, provides a plethora of new possible game schemes. At least Nintendo is trying to do something new.

Same goes for the Kinect 2. That's a super powerful piece of technology that would have gotten no attention if it wasn't forced into gamers' hands. Developers have to rely on people having the tech to develope for it, otherwise it would be way too niche to be financially feasible. I support change and evolution in the gaming universe rather than just enjoying the river of money flowing from release after release of stagnant shooters.

Re: (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46495301)

I'd posit that the Wii U sacrificed a significant amount of hardware in their console for the sake of that fancy gamepad.

They did. I'd still have bought one but it doesn't support 4 controllers with displays. That was a massive failure.

Why sell one copy when you can sell four? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46495877)

I'd still have bought one but it doesn't support 4 controllers with displays. That was a massive failure.

How many controllers does a typical PC game support, with or without displays? It's been claimed that PC game developers leave out support for split-screen play and spawn installation on purpose, in order to sell multiple copies of a game to one household [cracked.com] .

Re:Why sell one copy when you can sell four? (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 7 months ago | (#46496895)

Yeah but Steam sales mean we PC gamers really don't have to care and with AMD chips going so cheap you can build nice gaming PCs for a little of nothing. My oldest has a hexacore with 8Gb of RAM and a TB HDD and it only cost $350 shipped, add in another $70 for his HD7750 and he can play pretty much any shooter he cares to play. the youngest decided to go for a quad and spend the extra for an HD7790 and everything is smooth even with the bling cranked.

So who cares if you have to get more than 1 copy? Thanks to steam we only have to download it once and then just copy the folder to the other 2 PCs and between Steam sales, Humble Bundles, and FTP games we literally have more new games to play than we have hours in the day and as a nice bonus you have a system that will play console games going back to the Atari 2600, PC games going back to DOS, and of course web, video, hell you can even get your work done on it ;-)

Oh and if you don't want to even spend that much? head over to Craigslist, plenty of Phenom Is and IIs and C2Qs being sold for cheap. Had a friend that wanted to get into PC gaming but money was tight, found him a nice C2Q system with 19 LCD and KM for just $130, he slapped in an HD6770 he found for $35 and is happily flying his WWII airplanes.

Re:Why sell one copy when you can sell four? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46501751)

Yeah but Steam sales mean we PC gamers really don't have to care

I thought the expectation that PC gamers would wait for a Steam sale was devaluing PC gaming. This allegedly causes publishers to believe they can't get much more revenue from a Steam bargain hunter than a copyright infringer, which encourages established developers to concentrate on consoles and treat PC as an afterthought. Apparently PC gamers are more likely to wait for Steam sales than PlayStation gamers for Greatest Hits. (References: 1 [slashdot.org] 2 [slashdot.org] )

I also thought one had to have multiple Steam accounts in order to buy multiple copies of a game. Does Steam allow using one credit card with multiple accounts? That and you still have to buy a gaming PC and monitor for each player, plus a copy of Windows for each player to run those games that aren't ported to Steam OS.

When CL pickups turn violent (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46501815)

Now I separately address the cost of hardware:

My oldest has a hexacore with 8Gb of RAM and a TB HDD and it only cost $350 shipped

Or $1,400 plus monitors plus OS plus furniture for four players.

you have a system that will play console games going back to the Atari 2600

Good luck dumping your authentic game cartridges to create the ROM files you need to play your console games. Last time I checked, Retrode was discontinued indefinitely [retrode.com] .

and of course web, video, hell you can even get your work done on it

As for work or other non-gaming uses of a PC, console gaming families are apparently happy with just taking turns on the family PC, possibly adding a tablet or low-end laptop to the mix.

Had a friend that wanted to get into PC gaming but money was tight, found him a nice C2Q system [on a classified ad website] with 19 LCD and KM for just $130

I know some people who are afraid of buying things through classified advertising, given news reports of pickup encounters that have turned violent [nbcnews.com] . And how much for furniture? A console uses your existing living room TV, while each gaming PC generally needs its own dedicated desk.

Re:Why sell one copy when you can sell four? (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 7 months ago | (#46503459)

Realistically, even a bare-minimum gaming PC (with Windows & video card) is going to be $500-$600, and more like $700-$800 for something that can play the big games out now at 1080p. Of course many gamers here will spend $1000+. In addition, that requires you to spend the time/deal with the bother of building your own gaming PC - sure, for some people it's kind of fun, for other people they don't enjoy it, and time is money. And then what you set up is going to be a big noisy box that may work great in a basement, but less so in a living room or even home office.

Saying it can do work or run emulators or watch movies isn't really relevant. Any old computer can do that, even a $30 Raspberry Pi.

Re:Why sell one copy when you can sell four? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 7 months ago | (#46514185)

Bullshit, you can buy a pretty nice kit that will play anything but the latest ePeen (which lets be honest, some of those guys are just badly coded, see how fans of the original Crysis had to put out a patch because even today's uberrigs choke on the POS code of the last level) at 1600x900 (the most common resolution according to Steam survey last I checked) for less than a Xbone if you shop around.

Oh and do not forget that consoles work on the "razor and blades" model which is why you get assraped on the price of games even months later whereas a PC title drops pretty quickly. I sat down and did the math once and if you buy just two AAA titles per month in less than 4 months the PC is already ahead in terms of price. Oh and even a low end PC such as a Phenom II quad with an HD7750 will honestly keep a higher framerate through the game than an Xbone.

So if you shop around its really not hard, the last gaming PC I built was for the oldest and with 8Gb of RAM, AMD hexacore, 500Gb HDD and HD4850 (he recently upgraded to an HD7750 but the HD4850 still played the latest games at 1600x900, he just wanted a cooler GPU) and the whole smash after rebates? $379 shipped. Oh and if the rumors are true MSFT is about to release a free "powered by Bing" version of Windows so that won't even be a cost in the near future. If you need a free OS now there is always SteamOS.

Re:Why sell one copy when you can sell four? (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 7 months ago | (#46520961)

I don't know about this. Call of Duty Ghosts is currently $30 for PC, $30 for XBox, $36 for XBone. New releases are all $60, right? Savings don't sound like much.

I don't own an XBOne, I just think gaming PCs are inherently pretty expensive. Your example of $379 for a super cheap gaming PC doesn't include the $100+tax cost of windows, so that's pretty much in line with the $500-$600 I was talking about.

Looking at the survey [steampowered.com] , it seems 1080p is much more popular than 1600x900. Obviously going higher is better and I'll guess lower resolutions are often done by the people running HD Graphics 4000 and the like.

Re:Why sell one copy when you can sell four? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46558161)

not true.

my friend has a R9 290 running at 1440x900. he's quite happy with is despire my regular suggestion he use his 32" 1080p TV (collecting dust) as his primary monitor.

bugger sold his xbox360 before getting a new pc and his ps3 not long after.

he sure has the space to set it all up fancy like.

8core 4ghz, 8GB ram, 120GB ssd, 1TB hdd. $20.5 NZD a week

was an absurd build putting it together. strange case... definitely not one of the budget builds i usually put together.

HE LOVES IT (3k over 3 years is much over priced but withotu credit it would have never gotten a new pc, his old one bit the dust months ago)

Re:Why sell one copy when you can sell four? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46504943)

Oh god, Slashdot has reached a new low. Someone getting modded up for defending DRM causing people to have to buy content multiple times saying "it's okay".

I guess it's official, the MPAA/RIAA finally won, their dream of twisting the digital era from easy and cheap access to media into selling the customer that same thing multiple times was finally actually successful thanks to Valve's support.

Re: (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 7 months ago | (#46495389)

Valve has to make the same choices regarding price and hardware tradeoffs.

Yes, but remember, the PC gaming market has already shown a willingness to pay more than twice the cost of a next-gen console for a really kick-ass gaming experience.

The key to Valve's success with its Steam Box, IMO, is to keep in mind that PC gamers are a very different market than console gamers. And, they have more money to spend. If they try to position Steam Box as nothing more than a direct competitor to consoles, they will fail.

I'm already putting together a Steam Box that's going to end up costing about 4 times what a next-gen console goes for. A few more bucks for a groundbreaking controller is not a big deal.

Having said all that, I'm not sure a touchscreen in a controller is a good idea. Maybe just a simple touchpad, but a full-blown touch display would make the controller too delicate for me. My controller takes a fair amount of abuse. And I don't want to have to look at the controller at any time.;

Re: (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 7 months ago | (#46498641)

I'm already putting together a Steam Box that's going to end up costing about 4 times what a next-gen console goes for.

But why? If you can get a near equivalent experience for 1/4 the price, why waste money on hardware when you can get more games. Then again... that Steam box actually won't have many games.

And don't tell me that games looking "slightly better" is worth a 4X price premium.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46550275)

How many people buy cheep plastic cars compared to spending the 4x on shiny, a lot lest then the number who spend 40x on really shiny?

Re: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46496803)

There's a whole video about it from steam dev days. You can look it up on youtube.

Basically the touchscreen meant looking away from the screen, refocusing on the controller, which pulled you out of the game.

What they played with instead is: You have two touchpads and most games steam games have integration with the steam overlay. They've been experimenting with having one of the back buttons pull up a screen actually on screen (I mean, what you would've had on the touchscreen, be it extra buttons, controller/game setup menus, whatever) and you navigate with the touch pads you're touching anyway.

From the last talk it seems that gave them better immersion and experience while dropping the cost of the controller a lot.

Re: (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 8 months ago | (#46494865)

OEMs can not afford to sell steam machines at a loss. Unless Valve cuts them some margin for steam sales to their devices, but imagine all the early adopters buying the cheap pcs and formatting them (so there would be no way for Valve to know that any steam sale was made from a dell steam machine).

Re: (2)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46495167)

but imagine all the early adopters buying the cheap pcs and formatting them

Why would early adopters need to format a Steam Machine? They can just exit Steam, start GNOME, and run their non-Steam GNU/Linux applications that way.

Re: (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 7 months ago | (#46497725)

Well yeah, that further reinforces my point. OEMs can not afford to sell at a loss (or very low profit margin) and expect to get their money back from game sales.

Desktop PC margins (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46501833)

Yet OEMs accept the low profit margin for sales of commodity desktop PCs. What makes set-top PCs necessarily different, other than that they need a differently styled case?

Re: (5, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 8 months ago | (#46494817)

They said their reasoning was that a screen on the controller forced you to split your attention between the TV screen and the controller screen. The screen on the controller would only end up being useful when you weren't playing a game, and the cost wasn't worth it for being used strictly for non-gaming.

So basically cost wasn't the major factor.

Re: (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46494925)

Plus, Valve is now using "Ghost Mode".
They now show what you are touching on top of the game while you are touching it.
Details are in the Steam Controller talk during the Steam Dev Days; starting 23:35 [youtube.com] .

Re: (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 7 months ago | (#46497157)

Well, ghost mode would now be gone since the touchscreen is gone too.

Re: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46494987)

and the cost wasn't worth it for being used strictly for non-gaming.

So basically cost wasn't the major factor.

-_-

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46495147)

Did you miss the part before the "and"? The bit which describes what the major factor was?

Re: (3, Informative)

firewrought (36952) | about 7 months ago | (#46495391)

their reasoning was that a screen on the controller forced you to split your attention between the TV screen and the controller screen

Yep... glad to see someone is learning from the Wii U's mistakes.

DS (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46495855)

Yet the DS printed money despite splitting the player's attention between the Top Screen and the Touch Screen.

Re:DS (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46496219)

You do realize that the distance between the two screens is less than an inch, right? And that the distance between the top of the top screen and the bottom of the bottom screen is less than six inches?

Now compare that to the perceived distances between your TV and your controller. Or do you hold your controllers with your arms outstretched parallel to the ground?

Re:DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46500239)

Leave him alone. He's always been an out-of-touch sniveling little linfag,

Re:DS (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 7 months ago | (#46497145)

The DS/3DS treat the two separate screens more like one larger screen. Heck, in the 2DS, they literally are one LCD panel with a bezel stuck on top in the middle. There's a big difference between looking up and down on a tall screen versus shifting your focus from a screen 10 feet away and a screen a foot or two away.

Re:DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46497261)

Yet the DS printed money despite splitting the player's attention between the Top Screen and the Touch Screen.

Is this a joke? I hope so because you would need to be a space alien with no understanding of human vision to think that makes sense.

Experiment: Hold finger in front of eye whilst looking at screen, look at screen then finger then screen, notice that it takes a noticeable amount of time for the lenses in your eyes to switch focus back and forth and that the finger or screen become blurry depending on which is being focused on.

Re: (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 8 months ago | (#46494883)

What costs? Don't be fooled by the high price of the Wii U controller. Touch screens, especially small touch screens are very cheap. They scale in cost depending on the size of the screen. A touch digitiser for a typical mobile phone costs less than $10 in small quantities, so for something the size of what they were proposing you could estimate maybe $2-3 in bulk. The screens themselves aren't much more expensive either unless you're aiming for IPS retina or OLED or some other wanky screen from a high-end phone.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46495367)

Are you kidding? A touchscreen probably adds a few cents to the total cost of manufacture. It would be one of the cheapest components.

Higher bandwidth radio (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46496823)

Sending the picture to be displayed on a touch screen needs a faster (and more expensive) radio link.

Re:Higher bandwidth radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46502649)

Bluetooth has had enough bandwidth for a while. Presumably they'll be using Bluetooth for the controller anyways, it's a bit of a waste.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46498665)

Fuck that. I want something better, and if I have to pay more for it, so be it. I don't want something that's just "competitive". Fuck that. Valve is going to lose the entire market segment that was most enthusiastic about getting these things.

OLD NEWS (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46494661)

This was announced January 15th at Steam Dev Days. It was all over the news.

Re:OLD NEWS (0)

edibobb (113989) | about 8 months ago | (#46494823)

Mod up! (I have mod points but slashdot is broken again.)

Re:OLD NEWS (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46495163)

Clearly you must be new here.

Re:OLD NEWS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46496685)

Here is the presentation in which it was announced, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfN5WK7OzU8 [youtube.com]

CRACK !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46494675)

Goes the screen !!

Kinda Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46494677)

I kinda wish it still had the touchscreen. As it is trying to replace the keyboard and mouse for use in the living room, it would be nice to use the touchscreen as a small keyboard for chatting or typing in web addresses in the overlay.

Re:Kinda Sad (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#46495445)

I'm guessing approximately everyone who will be using a steam machine will have a touchscreen phone and/or tablet within arms reach most of the time when playing. I'd assume that anything you could use with a touchscreen on a controller, you could do with a synced phone or tablet.

Not sure why that wasn't a feature last generation for consoles. I suppose they thought it would decrease the sales for controllers, but I can't imagine that holding true for steam boxes.

We know, sfcrazy already submitted that 2mos ago (4, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 8 months ago | (#46494705)

http://slashdot.org/submission... [slashdot.org]

It's just that yesterday (or the day before) they actually unveiled some new imagery showing what it looks like.

Re:We know, sfcrazy already submitted that 2mos ag (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46494853)

"[...] in January [...] showed the developers there a very rough mockup image for the new controller. Today, the company released a much more detailed photo of the new design, shown above, [...]"

So, yes, as you write, it's about the new image [arstechnica.net] .

Re:We know, sfcrazy already submitted that 2mos ag (1)

Xest (935314) | about 7 months ago | (#46505005)

Is it me or does it look like someone took an XBox One controller and stuck all the buttons underneath rather than on top? I know it doesn't have thumbsticks but the grips and buttons look identical to those of the Xbox One controller and the Steam button is a blatant rip off of the Xbox One button.

Given that this, the Wii U Pro controllers, the PS4 controller, and the Xbox One controller are all blatant rip offs of the XBox 360 controller is there some un-admitted acceptance that the Xbox 360 controller was the near pinnacle of controller design or something? Everyone seems to be cloning the 360 controller extremely closely.

Good (4, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 8 months ago | (#46494901)

Not that I don't like the idea of a touch screen on the controller but I have yet to see a game take advantage of it properly. So far implementations of the Wii U touch screen have been a major pain to use and serve no real purpose in a game. Even the best example I can think of from the Mario game requires a person to pause, change what they are looking at, and then let go of the controller to press the touch panel.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46496455)

Nintendo Land and Rayman Legends (both designed with it in mind from the get go; Wario Ware could probably be thrown in there, but it's one of those that I haven't given much of a chance in group settings) make excellent use of it for their core gameplay. Arkham City and Lego City Undercover also made good use of it. The second player use in the New Super Mario/Luigi Bros U games also did well incorporating it.

I think you're not looking hard enough if you're not finding games that do put it to good use; that's aside from my favorite use of it which is to lounge back and not even use the TV.

Re:Good (1)

Xest (935314) | about 7 months ago | (#46505025)

Have you played Lego City Undercover or Pikmin 3? They both make good use of it.

Re:Good (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 7 months ago | (#46512845)

No though pikmin 3 is on my to-buy list

Well (0)

ledow (319597) | about 8 months ago | (#46495025)

They probably saw the Wii U and realised the most expensive mistake on it.

Can't say it'll affect my opinion of their product one way or another.

Separate release? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46495467)

Personally I would love for a separate release of one that has a small screen on it, more as a "play elsewhere around the house" type deal instead of specifically sitting in front of TV or computer.
The controller would likely need to be a little bit longer due to the larger screen for any reasonable use as a remote screen.

But essentially it would just be the same sort of deal Nintendo has going with its controllers.
The touchscreen controller is so damn good in some games. Especially multiplayer games where there is some sort of hunt going on and the person on the TV is the one looking for the others on the touchscreens. I wish I remembered what the name of that was again, it was at a friends apartment, but one of the roommates moves out because she became a total bitch and it was her game. (as well as the extra touchscreen controller too)
Eh, that doesn't really fit many games on Steam though. Local multiplayer is a rare thing on PC games. Damn shame.

Mind you, with Oculus Rift coming soon, I'd not really care afterwards since I would just use that.

There are some local multiplayer PC games (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46496843)

Eh, that doesn't really fit many games on Steam though. Local multiplayer is a rare thing on PC games. Damn shame.

I've been collecting links to Slashdot comments that recommend local multiplayer PC games [pineight.com] . Mostly the problem has been that very few people are willing to either A. carry a desktop PC back and forth between the desk and the living room or B. buy and maintain a second computer that lacks consoles' advantage in ease of use.

Good for them (2, Insightful)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 7 months ago | (#46495485)

No gaming control pad should have a touchscreen. It was absolutely ridiculous on the Wii U and it'd be ridiculous here...especially considering none of the Steam games out already (that I know of) take advantage of such a feature and TBH I find that touchscreens are one of the worst gaming input devices in existence. Actually, touchscreens are the worst modern input devices bar none, excluding point of sale use cases. Tossing the touchscreen is a great choice.

Re:Good for them (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 7 months ago | (#46495601)

Did you ever play Dreamcast? A screen on a controller is bloody BRILLIANT if you can pull it off. The only reason they are pulling it is because of economics, not lack of features or functionality. The X doesnt cross between functionality vs cost, that doesnt mean its useless or dumb.

Re:Good for them (1, Troll)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 7 months ago | (#46495627)

I've only played that emulated, and I didn't find many of the games I tried to be worth playing except Ikaruga. I don't think that a screen in the controller is very helpful because ultimately one is going to be looking at the screen on...well, uh, the screen. It doesn't make sense to me as to why someone would want a screen and then a completely different screen that requires changing the entire field of view, so I deem it useless, especially in a world slam full of 1080p displays that have more than sufficient pixel density to show everything you'd ever need in the game.

Re:Good for them (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | about 7 months ago | (#46496489)

Because its useful for a myriad of applications. A glaringly obvious example is any football game like Madden, it allows you to look through and choose plays without anyone else seeing your choices. For racing games it would be a great place to put additional telemetry readouts that you dont need to often look at, instead of having them clutter your HUD. Adding more shit onto already cluttered screens breaks the immersion. The less you can show that doesnt belong in the games universe on screen. the better.

Re:Good for them (3, Insightful)

barc0001 (173002) | about 7 months ago | (#46496155)

"No gaming control pad should have a touchscreen. It was absolutely ridiculous on the Wii U"

I strongly disagree. Used properly, the touchpad and second display can be a great addition. Just look at some of the DS or 3DS games for how it should be done. In fact, if Nintendo would release a WiiU addon that would allow me to use my 3DS cartridges on it, I'd buy it in a heartbeat and airmail them a thank you cake.

SteamBox = VaporWare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46495553)

You know it.

Not traditional (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46495617)

Using thr xbox layout of ABXY is not traditional. The Nintendo layout predates it by 10 years

They're all X (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46496851)

But which of the four is the X button [pineight.com] ?

If you refer to the fact that A and B are swapped and X and Y are swapped between the Super NES and the Xbox, the Xbox was not the first. Xbox inherited this layout ultimately from the Sega Genesis, which predates the Super NES.

D pad (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | about 7 months ago | (#46495953)

Why the seperate up down left right buttons? Put a decent D pad on there. The seperate buttons instead of a good D pad is why I hate the all Sony controllers. Xbox can't make a decent D pad. Can anyone make a decent D pad anymore.

Re:D pad (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | about 7 months ago | (#46496495)

The twist type dpad on the 360 newer controllers isnt too bad.

Re:D pad (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | about 7 months ago | (#46497559)

True, I have one of those controllers. Problem is it isn't that great either.

Re:D pad (1)

Xest (935314) | about 7 months ago | (#46505043)

They improved it again with the Xbox One, have you tried that?

It's a design around (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46496871)

The seperate buttons instead of a good D pad is why I hate the all Sony controllers.

I don't have a PS3 or PS4, but the directional pad on at least PlayStation, Dual Shock, and Dual Shock 2 controllers is all one piece of plastic. It has four separate raised segments to avoid Nintendo patents on the cross shape. And in practice, with the thumb lying flat across a PlayStation directional pad, the feel of rolling the thumb from one direction to the next isn't that different from Nintendo's design.

Re:It's a design around (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | about 7 months ago | (#46497567)

In practice left - right or up- down is still horrible. You will tear your thumb up on the separating plastic playing a fighting game with any of those type of combo's.

Re:It's a design around (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 7 months ago | (#46498661)

There are these things on the Dual Shock called Analog Sticks, perhaps you should be using them. And if the game is one of those fighting games stuck in 1993 paradigms because the Fighting Game Fanboys insist on it (Street Fighter), perhaps you should play a modern fighting game that uses proper controls.

Or if you must, plug in an arcade stick.

Re:D pad (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | about 7 months ago | (#46497779)

Because the controller by design does not need a dpad. It only needs extra buttons in case you run out of practical mapping.
You have a left analog zone and haptic feedback on it. And a right analog zone with haptic feedback. Each zone notices the difference between push down and just swiping on the surface. Each zone also has 3 parts, where you can do stuff like map things to the outer and inner edges.
So for a lot of 3D games, you would do something like
-Left analog is left zone. Outer edge is used as dpad(since dpad is only used for rare commands.)
-Right analog is mapped to right zone, but so is the face buttons. Swipe = Move camera, push down = use button. Outer circle is still not used for anything, but can be.
-Map bumpers and analogs to the back, just like on the original gamepad setup
-Start/menu is start/menu, and select/back is select/back.

For 2D games, you already got a nice primary surface. Just map the "dpad" to the left touch surface, and use push down. And face buttons to the right surface. Its not magic.
Its not hard to map the controller to work for a game like Starcraft either, since you can do left zone for panning and right for mouse control. You also have 8 buttons free for control groups.

for lefties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46495975)

am i the only one that noticed this controller is the first one that is actually designed to be used by both left and right handed people?
even if not electrically, it would be a pretty staight forward hack as long at a.b.x.y aren;t analog, even then it might still be possible

and dont give me that shit of "the controllers are already designed for left handed people" shit.

you ever try to play MW or GTA with the left handed setups???
fucking fail, its hard as shit to run and use your right hand to move the character.
your right thumb is on the joystick, while you try to use your index or middle finger to press X to run.

not cool

Re:for lefties (1)

skids (119237) | about 7 months ago | (#46496257)

you ever try to play MW or GTA with the left handed setups?

You don't have to be left-handed to hate GTA keybindings. They suck pretty hard for right-handed, too.

It's probably like one man-week tops to include a button remapper in-game. There's no excuse why every title doesn't have one, doubly so for a title financed so well. Thank goodness unreal engine games tend to follow the example set by UT.

It annoys me, personally, because apparently 90% of gamers cannot keep from pushing R3/L3 when using the stick so they put the jump out on the button pads where you have to take your thumb off the stick to use it.

Also who in the heck wants to ironsite with a different hand than they fire with? Matter of taste I guess but I just don't get it.

Re:for lefties (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46496891)

It's probably like one man-week tops to include a button remapper in-game. There's no excuse why every title doesn't have one

Multiplayer is one reason. People don't want to have to wait for the other players in the room to reconfigure their bindings every time.

Re:for lefties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46497631)

if they are having to reconfig bindings evertime there is a bigger problem with the game....

Re:for lefties (1)

skids (119237) | about 7 months ago | (#46498457)

I have to do this on the second (buffing) character when running two characters under the same userid in borderlands split screen, because it only takes one set of settings per userid. It takes like 30 seconds, tops. Of course that's partially because the default mapping is somewhat close to reasonable.

Analog Face Buttons? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 7 months ago | (#46496551)

They were awful on the PS2. It was impossible to gauge how hard you were pressing....

Re:Analog Face Buttons? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 7 months ago | (#46499749)

It wasn't impossible, I could tell how hard.....on a controller that wasn't too old. I was able to use the feature in a couple of games. Didn't work so well in Gran Turismo though. I can also bullseye womp-rats.

I have an idea (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#46499339)

They should all go work for Microsoft. They released a badly designed, poorly planned product that doesn't really work and everyone hated so they dumped the bad features and fixed it prior to release. Microsoft took 8, sent it to the department of "who even gives a fuck anymore", and came up Windows 8.1 and 8.1 update 1.

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