For better or worse, Valve has always made it their mission to make gaming different. From their embrace of virtual reality to the rebuild of PC gaming in a console form. Originally designed to be paired with a Steam link and stream games wirelessly over the cloud, the controller became infamous. Utilizing such a weird control layout to achieve fluid mouse and scrolling control is lucrative and smart. Transitioning players from games with a heavy reliance on mouse control can be difficult.
However, to the Steam Controller’s credit; the customization rivals any other way to play a game and can really be a definite improvement for seasoned Steam users. Yet the controller doesn’t always feel like a premium option. In fact, the buttons and triggers are some of the weakest parts of an otherwise interesting controller. In what seems like a never-ending losing battle for Valve, they have lost their patent lawsuit over the Steam Controllers back paddles patented by SCUF.
The lawsuit originated from an infringement of SCUFs library of over 100 patents. Most famously they licensed the paddle design for Xbox’s Elite controller, but not Valves. The paddles that are placed on the backside of a controller have appeared in only a few other designs like the SCUF PS4 controller. They act as easy to use face buttons without moving away from the joysticks. It’s a handy feature that adds versatility to the Steam Controller. Like any other button, it could be remapped to perform any other function. It often acts as a profile switcher to seamlessly move between preset layouts.
While the 4 million figure the settlement calculates, Valve could see a bigger bill come their way as they were willfully infringing on the copyright. While the controller is unavailable for purchase now due to its $5 fire sale in 2019, the questions over a version 2 aren’t totally out of the question either. Whether or not they are creating a new version, the hope for it to include more original features will be key in a competitive market fixated on tradition.
So do you think Valve plans on trying again with a new controller design? Let us know in the comments below!