OMGChad Talks Steam Controller with Robin Walker

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | September 13, 2015 - 08:53 PM |
Tagged: valve, Steam Controller, steam

As far as I can tell, this video is not from a larger organization. I sent OMGChad a tweet to verify that he was at PAX as an independent YouTube personality, but I didn't get a response. I couldn't recognize the intro bumper, and it didn't seem to be in use on any of his other videos, or any other PAX video that I could find, but it seemed like a significant amount of work for a one-off. If someone in the comments knows anything, be sure to leave a note.

Update, Sept 14th, 2015: OMGChad has just responded to my tweet. He was there "for myself and @MindcrackLP". Again, it's a minor point, but it's something that I should get correct if possible.

As for the story, OMGChad talks with Robin Walker, the man who takes responsibility for all the hats in TF2, about the Steam Controller in Alienware's booth at PAX Prime 2015. After several delays, the input device is scheduled to launch on November 10th (which will be a busy day apparently). It has changed significantly over time, with early prototypes even playing around with a touch screen. The two touch pads, while markers on them have changed from concentric rings to a cross on the left and nothing on the right, were relatively close to their original concept.

Robin Walker goes over the main design decisions and what rationale led to them. For instance, the reason for the grips on the back is because they found that people were taking their thumbs off of the view stick for just a couple of actions, such as reload or “use”. He also discusses the dual-stage triggers, which have a button at the end for secondary actions (like a nitro boost at the end of your throttle). It is somewhat expected that a representative for a company selling a controller would highlight what makes their product unique, but it's nice to have that extra behind-the-scenes insight.

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The Steam Controller will launch on November 10th for $49.99 USD ($59.99 CDN). There was an option to pre-order to get it early, but the early batch is over so -- let's be honest -- you don't need me to tell you what you already did.

Source: OMGChad

September 13, 2015 | 09:14 PM - Posted by willmore (not verified)

OMGChad is late of the Twit network. He currently does the (now independent) Giz Wiz with Dick DeBartolo--Mad's maddest writer.

Not sure what else Chad's been up to, but he does a lot of youtube videos on Mindcraft.

September 13, 2015 | 09:26 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yup, thanks! I was curious about whether this video was part of that, or partnership with someone else.

September 13, 2015 | 10:48 PM - Posted by willmore (not verified)

Sorry, man, I don't know. I'm lagged on listening to that podcast about two months worth, so I may have missed some of what's up with him. I can say is that he's nice, smart, and a gamer. Even it's it's a 'childrens game' that he loves most. ;)

September 13, 2015 | 09:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The Steam controller on NOV 10, and the Steam Box release date the same, hope they get some review samples out, the controller and Steam Boxes, out for review before the release date. Everything is just so much windows 10, and DX12, it will be nice to start getting some reveiws of the finished Steam Box product. I'm lloking forward to more than spinning gnomes demos of Vulkan on a Steam BOX.

September 14, 2015 | 04:46 PM - Posted by Penteract (not verified)

I have no interest in a PC with a Steam-branded and controlled version of Linux. Just give me Linux (Mint, Ubuntu, etc). There are a lot of games that don't have a connection to Steam, and I find the concept of a "Steam Box" to be a limited way of bringing console players into the PC gaming world. Steam doesn't define PC gaming in any way.

And that's all a Steam Box - Steam Machine, whatever they are calling it these days - is. You can make your current PC a Steam device by installing the Steam OS on it, just as you can make it a Linux device by installing any Linux distro.

So, yeah, DX12 is great, but I'm getting annoyed with MS because they are taking customization options away from their OS. If Vulkan is competitive - and stays competitive - with DX12, if game devs jump on board, then I'll be jumping ship ASAP.

I will give MS credit for one thing, and that's making it possible for the PC and Xbox communities to play together. That's a big positive for the gaming community as a whole.

The controller looks interesting, but I'm very skeptical that it could in any way actually replace a mouse and keyboard, as was implied. Aiming looks to be even more problematic than other controllers (though people good with game pads don't really have issues with that). Unlike the "Steam Box" it is actually a new piece of hardware and Valve deserves credit for the effort they've put into it regardless of how well received it ends up being. If it does get praise from a lot of gamers I could see myself replacing my Xbox One controller (that I use for Dark Souls II on my PC).

September 14, 2015 | 06:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Steam OS and Mint are both Debian based, there is nothing stopping you from APT-getting the necessary DE/other packages from The Debian repositories, or Mint. Hell just dual boot Steam OS for gaming and Mint for productivity, or get a Linux based VM package and run any number of Linux/other OS builds simultaneously. Hell I'll bet the Steam client software for Steam OS will install on Mint, you may need to tweak some dependencies though. I'd rather have Steam OS for gaming as any newer Kernel patches/tweaks for gaming will be in Steam OS, Valve will see to that. Steam OS will definitely be optimized and maintained for gaming By Valve, the gaming companies, and the Debian/Linux community.

September 13, 2015 | 10:46 PM - Posted by Branthog

Actually, those of us who pre-ordered the controller and the Steam Link will be getting them on October 16th.

September 14, 2015 | 03:10 PM - Posted by funandjam

And let's not forget, those who pre-ordered either the controller or the Steam Link also get a free copy of Portal 2 and Rocket League.

September 14, 2015 | 10:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous75543 (not verified)

It was only $50 bucks and I got a free copy of Rocket League and Portal 2, if it even functions at all I'll consider it money well spent :)

September 17, 2015 | 06:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Robin Walker is responsible for a lot more than just hats - he's part of the original Team Fortress Quake1 mod group, so that makes him responsible for load-out/class-based team FPS as we know it today as well as the first huge success story of third party mods in the 90s.

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