Valve has announced that its own Steam Machine has been delayed until 2015. The delay has come about as Valve hopes to improve the game controller planned for its video game console.
Video game developer, Valve has taken over the PC gaming world by creating Steam, a platform for computers that makes it easy to purchase, download, and install video games. Steam has made itself popular by offering discounted sales and deals for games sold as a package. Independent video game developers have also found a home at Steam, and the online store is filled with award-winning smaller-scaled games.
Valve is bringing the same platform to the living room by creating Steam Machines running its own Steam operating system. The Steam Machines will come in different configurations, but each machine will have the same insides as a powerful PC. The hardware of each Steam Machine will also work like a PC and its parts will be able to upgrade when the newer games demand it.
Valve’s SteamOS will function similar to the most popular home video consoles, but will have features based around computer gaming. Valve states that the Steam Machines will run AAA title games with ease and will include the add-ons and mods that the PC gaming community is used to. The SteamOS is built from a Linux architecture, yet optimized for a television screen. Valve will release the SteamOS as a free download should users wish to make their own Steam Machine.
The main reason Valve is stating for the delay of their Steam Machine is the gaming controller. The controller is their primary focus as users will switch from using a mouse and keyboard to using a controller. Current PCs are not usually optimized for a controller, so Valve is going through many different controller iterations to get the feel right.
The most recent look at the Steam controller shows that it will have two haptic trackpads instead of the usual control sticks and the controller will have directional buttons instead of a directional pad. It will have four face action buttons and will have two shoulder buttons on top of the controller with two trigger buttons right underneath. Those who have been able to use the Steam controller for short amounts of time have complained about it not feeling as responsive as they would like. Yet, those who have been able to use the controller for longer time periods have said that the controller begins to feel more natural over time than the controllers from current home consoles.
Valve has been using feedback from game developers, hardcore gamers, and casual to improve the Steam controller through its many iterations. The look has changed throughout its multiple showings, but the one thing that has stayed the same is that versions showed, used a wired connection. Through its delay post, Valve has announced that they are now working on a wireless controller and are going through testing to make sure that it meets their standards.
The Valve announcement of the delay of Steam Machines until 2015 was only an announcement for the release of their own machine. Other PC makers such as Origin PC and Alienware are also bringing out their own Steam Machine configurations. It has yet to be announced if the Valve delay affects their release dates as well.
By Raul Herandez