No, there isn’t a single bit of irony nor sarcasm in the title; it really is the ultimate game pad that’s better than anything that’s currently out in the market today. Whether you like it or you don’t, you have to learn to love the Steam Controller, because it’s simply the best at what it does in the market, at any price point. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it isn’t.
We’ll show you just why. What we’ll do is to first see why we think it is the best controller given its features, and then dispel all the myths that have emerged ever since its release. There’s no time to fool around with this, so let’s get right to the meat of the matter.
What the Hell Is It, Anyway?
The Steam Controller is a the latest in gamepad technology conceptualized by Valve Studios in order to bring its gaming experience from the desktop to your home. Thanks to its many functions, it allows you to play any game available on the desktop, even those that only allow the use of a mouse and a keyboard! How, you may ask? Well, the Steam Controller is a product that is very highly configurable and easy to customize such that anybody can learn how to do it in a matter of minutes.
When Love and Hate Collide
We already apologize for the cheesy reference to Def Leppard. But really, what we mean to say is that there is no middle ground when it comes to an honest review of the Steam Controller; simply because it has been unfairly consigned to being a spare controller. However, the truth of the matter is that many of the people who claim to have use it really haven’t.
Before approaching it, you must understand that it is a totally new input system; you can’t approach it for one day and just assume that it will be as precise as using a mouse or a keyboard within minutes; the customization options as well as its usage take time to get used to, just like anything new!
Thus, I personally think that the hate it’s garnered is totally unwarranted for; it’s just a product of lazy, close-minded gamers who never took the fact that it was meant to be a different experience into consideration at all.
Before anything else, you need to have a Steam account since the gamepad’s configuration is accessed via Big Picture which is basically a Steam mode that turns it essentially into a console. Once you’ve set everything up, you can exit from Big Picture mode and enjoy using the controller by leaving Steam running in the background.
If you don’t like the preconfigured settings out of the box, then you can modify it! After all, it WAS designed to be configured to your heart’s desire. It also stores your settings for every single game on Steam to your controller’s memory, so you will never have to worry about resetting things every single game you play! Since it’s linked to your unique Steam handle, your controller is uniquely YOURS.
A Rational Conclusion
The fact of the matter is that although there may very well be better alternatives that some users may find more precise, you won’t come close to the value that a Steam Controller provides for its retail price; at $49, you get a fully-functional, fully customizable gamepad that works for pretty much any game you want to use it for with Steam’s vast library of games to choose from. As with anything, it takes time to learn, master, and use.
While there may be more responsive (at least to your subjective perception) gamepads out there, such as the ones you will find on iThingum, you have to think about the Steam Controller in its price range. What other controller out there offers this much configurability and compatibility? Nothing, at least not for $49. Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, it’s the best one in the market today.
To sum it up using the legendary Ric Flair’s words, “Whether you like it or you don’t, you better LEARN to love it, because it’s the best thing in the business right now!”