Remember the Steam controller? It was kind of like the Neanderthal to the Steam Deck’s Homo sapiens, existing for a brief few years before being discontinued back in 2019. Steam Controllers were an unusual evolutionary offshoot of the by-then fairly standardised controller layout, with funky clickable trackpads taking the place of thumbsticks. Well, Valve’s designers seem to be up for reviving the concept in some form. At least, that’s what they’ve told The Verge in an interview about the Steam Deck’s first nine months.
“Yeah, we want to make it happen,” Steam Deck designer Lawrence Yang said. “It’s just a question of how and when.” Yang explains that Valve are keen on another go at their own controller, but Steam Deck is taking priority right now. He didn’t rule out another Steam controller coming straight from Valve themselves, but did suggest the possibility of teaming with a third-party manufacturer on the idea. Valve are working on some secretive living room concepts too, which the designers mentioned when prodded about the possibility of future Steam Machines.
Yang and fellow designer Pierre-Loup Griffais both want to concentrate on improving the handheld’s screen and battery life for any Steam Deck 2. Valve are already clear that they see the hardware as something they’ll build on in the future, but performance isn’t as big an issue right now from a design perspective. “I think we’ll opt to keep the one performance level for a little bit longer, and only look at changing the performance level when there is a significant gain to be had,” Griffais said.