Valve Is Discontinuing the Steam Controller

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The history of gaming is filled with quirky controllers, from mainstream eyebrow-raisers like the Nintendo 64 controller, to more obscure fare like the Dragon Quest Slime controller. Valve’s Steam controller is another such oddball. Released in 2013, Valve’s Steam Controller showed a lot of promise, despite its odd design. With two trackpads on the front and two paddles on the back, the controller seemed perfect for shooters. The controller also boasted a plethora of customization options, and gyroscopic capabilities. Alas, all good things must come to an end, as Valve has slashed the price on the controller to just $5 (plus shipping) and, according to The Verge, this will be the final batch created.

As of this writing, Valve has not given a reason behind the decision, leaving fans to speculate. The ability to map any controller configuration to the controller was a neat feature, and many users shared their creations online, but it became a bit redundant once Valve added the option to natively do so for PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and even third party controllers, as well. Perhaps Valve decided that, with so many other compatible controllers on the market, the production costs were no longer worth it.

Still, others have speculated that perhaps Valve is planning to bring a new controller to market, and clearing out the old stock before an official announcement is made. Given that Black Friday is around the corner and everyone is getting ready for the holiday push, the timing certainly seems right. Earlier this year, a Reddit user named BrownMachine discovered a patent published by Valve for a new controller in December of 2018. The controller in the patent looks similar to the current design, but includes new features, such as a “force sensing resistor (FSR).”

Steam Controller Patent Shows a Potential Future Version from r/SteamController

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Of course, while the patent is real, until Valve makes any kind of official announcement, it’s all just speculation. After all, Nintendo has published a number of patents for controllers and other peripheral designs that never saw the light of day. This could very well be a design that Valve considered before moving in a different direction. Should Valve make any kind of announcement in the future, we’ll keep you posted.

Do you plan on buying a Steam controller? Are you sad to see Valve discontinue it? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!

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