Valve's take on the gamepad, the Steam Controller, won't make its previously planned 2014 release date. In an update to the Steam Universe group, Valve's Eric Hope said the controller is now "realistically" looking at a release window in 2015.
"We're now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers," Hope said in a new update on Valve's Steam Machine hardware. "It's generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we'll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it's also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements. Realistically, we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014."
Hope said Valve is eager to get Steam Machines into the hands of players, but that "our number one priority is making sure that when you do, you'll be getting the best gaming experience possible."
Valve announced the Steam Controller in September 2013 alongside its Steam Machines PC hardware and the Linux-based operating system SteamOS. The Steam Controller deviates from more traditional modern gamepads by utilizing a pair of circular touchpads instead of two analog control sticks. Valve designed the Steam Controller to work with first-person shooters and action games, as well as games that are more commonly played only with mouse and keyboard, like real-time strategy games.
Originally, Valve planned to include a touchscreen in its Steam Controller and utilize a non-traditional button layout. The company unveiled a revamped prototype version of its Steam Controller earlier this year that eliminated the touchscreen and featured a more traditional cross-shaped layout for its front-facing buttons.
For a detailed look at the original Steam Controller prototype, check out our hands-on video from CES 2014.