It’s been just over a month since I received the prototype Steam Machine from Valve.
In my first update I talked about the Steam Controller and my initial struggles with it. I’ve been using the controller rather frequently and I have certainly improved with it over time. I’ve found that typing with the daisywheel is now going a lot faster and general navigation comes more naturally to me. It still takes me quite some time to configure the controller for every game I play, however now that developers have their own Steam Controllers from Steam Dev Days it’s only a matter of time until titles start to have proper support for it.
After reading reports from Steam Dev Days I’m excited to see what the future holds for the controller. The second prototype looks promising and seems like a big improvement over the current model. I’ve also heard talk of more customization options being opened up as time goes on which will help a lot. The biggest problem I’m having with the Steam Controller right now is playing competitive FPS games such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2. Seeing as the Steam Controller sits within the world of PC gaming I find it frustrating playing these types of games against people with a keyboard and mouse. It makes me want to return to my desktop whenever I fail in a situation I would have usually found trivial. This is more of a personal problem as opposed to an issue with the device although I’m sure other people will share a similar view at first.
The Steam Machine itself has been great. I’ve reported a number of bugs and SteamOS is frequently getting updated showing improvements all the time. The machine has become a lot more attractive to use since in-home streaming is now an option. Steam has a large library of Linux titles but some of the more popular single player games are Windows only. I’ve had minimal issues with the in-home streaming and it works great even over wireless. I really like that they give you the option of streaming non-steam games also, making it possible to play games such as Diablo 3 or World of Warcraft from your sofa.
Testing continues as usual and I hope to share more content in the coming months as more functionality is added to both SteamOS and the controller. If you’re interested I did an interview with KritzKast on my experiences with the beta and I have also written two Steam guides which give you insight on customizing the Steam Controller binds and getting started with the SteamOS beta.