When Valve Software's Steam Controller makes it to retail on Nov. 10, the build you pick up won't be the final, ultimate version. That's because Valve is continuing to think about how to redesign the peripheral.
Designer Erik Johnson talked to Polygon about long-term plans for the Steam Controller, which is a unique take on both the standard analog-stick and mouse-and-keyboard controller methods typically used for PC gaming. "We want to release the CAD files for how these controllers are put together," he said. "How do you mod the controller? What does that look like?"
The ultimate goal is for gamers to customize and create their own controllers, although Johnson recognizes that this is a challenge with hardware. "It's in our DNA to think of how our customers can create value for other customers."
This shines through in the myriad customization options currently offered with the Steam Controller. Each of its touch-controlled pads, as well as every button and trigger, can be configured to a player's liking.
With endless mapping possibilities, it seems early for Valve to be considering pushing out its next iteration of the hardware. But, Johnson says, the developer is "resigned to the fact that every time we do something, especially when it's new, it's not the last one."
The future of the Steam Controller is closely tied to that of the PC, with Johnson elaborating that "at the point where there's a product or some technology or something else that passes the test of us needing to [release a new controller] so that our customers can experience something, that's when we'll put out a new one."
While you wait to pick it up for yourself, check out our newly-shared hands-on impressions of the Steam Controller, as well as Alienware's Steam Machine, which will also arrive Nov. 10.