Valve’s New Steam Controller Isn’t Made For You

New Hori Steam Controller models in various colors in front of a light blue background
Credit: Hori

New Hori Steam Controller models in various colors in front of a light blue background
Credit: Hori

Valve rarely releases hardware, with the arrival of the Steam Index and Steam Deck being unprecedented, especially after the disappointing sales of the Steam Link (not to be confused with the app of the same name). However, a new Steam Controller is finally coming, but it’s not for you.

The release of Valve's Steam Deck, the best gaming handheld on the market, changed the landscape for PC-console hybrids. In contrast, the original Steam Controller didn’t make such an impact. Although the Steam Deck has already received an OLED upgrade, Valve's original controller didn't get similar treatment, despite its unique design, and was only appreciated by the few who owned one, despite being ahead of its time.

Now, Valve is partnering with Hori, a video game accessories and peripherals manufacturer, on a new Steam Controller. While it’s not exactly the same as Valve’s original controller, it bears the Steam branding and features some cool, unique elements.

For instance, the analog sticks have touch sensors, which might not be as useful as the beloved touch pads on the original Steam Controller, but the Hori version could be more appealing to those who typically play with Xbox or PS5 controllers. This new controller looks a lot bulkier compared to the original, resembling a mix between the Stadia controller and a Nintendo Switch Pro peripheral.

Similar to Nintendo Switch controllers, Hori’s Steam Controller includes gyro functionality for games that support gyro controls. It also offers wired or Bluetooth connectivity. According to Hori’s storefront, the Steam Controller's battery life lasts around 12 hours and takes three hours to charge.

However, the biggest issue with the Hori Steam Controller is that it appears to be limited to Japan. None of the other Hori websites list the Wireless Horipad, as it’s called on the Japanese Hori store page. We hope it will gradually become available in the US and Europe.

Many companies are recognizing the success of Steam and are looking to increase their revenue from Valve’s storefront. For example, Sony is bringing PSVR 2 PC support to Steam soon, along with a PSVR 2 adapter. The Steam Link app on Meta Quest headsets allows users with some of the best VR headsets to play the top PCVR games remotely. As more hardware support arrives on Steam, we can't wait to see what other companies can do when partnered up with Valve's phenomenal storefront.

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