First thing that most people will notice right off the bat is that no analog sticks are present on this controller. Instead, the Steam Controller is utilizing a combination of dual trackpads and haptics instead of traditional analog sticks. This is most likely a way for games that have been traditionally only been playable with a mouse and keyboard to be compatible with the Steam Controller, as dual trackpads may finally make genres like real time strategy playable on a controller. Valve has said that the entire Steam library will be compatible with this controller.
The Steam Controller will also be completely open for hacking. People will be able to tinker and experiment with the controller, and this will undoubtedly lead to some crazy ideas.
With next generation consoles releasing ever so soon, it’s evident that Valve is doing all it can to make sure that Steam is also a part of the living room. Back when the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii were launching, people were so excited about the new consoles that PC gaming had a slight downturn. At the time, a lot of people were lamenting how PC games were slowly dying. But with the advent of Steam this generation, PC gaming is now stronger than ever, and it looks like Valve is hoping to avoid another PC gaming downturn with the next console cycle.