Valve’s Steam controller is still in development but the team are hard at work finetuning it to their biggest game, Dota 2. The MOBA “is a really complex game that uses a good half of the keyboard,” Valve’s Jeff Bellinghausen told Polygon. “And it’s a real challenge, but would also be really exciting. To be able to play Dota from the couch is a really neat opportunity.”
Even when it’s up to scratch, though, Valve don’t expect it to be used by the pro players. “We’re thinking we’ll get 90 percent of the way there.”
The game is a great test for the team, the game requires you to operate a large number of different keys. At minimum there’s the four ability keys, the six items slots, and the denial command. All of those require you to be lightning quick with your button presses too. “It’s something that’s pushing the performance and resolution of the trackpad,” says Bellinghausen.
“For a game like Dota, we’re probably not going to be able to match it perfectly. You’re not going to take [a pro player] and have him play at his level with the controller, but that’s not really the goal. That’s true of the controller in general.
“Certainly something like Dota has a sophistication to it that is going to be challenging. We’re thinking we’ll get 90 percent of the way there.”
Across the board the plan seems to be to aim for something approximating the fidelity of the keyboard and mouse but can be more comfortably used on a sofa: “Team Fortress 2 players who are really happy with their mouse and keyboard, we’re in no way saying that’s changing or going away,” he said.”What we’re trying to do is find a way to get close to that performance, but kick back on your couch. That’s the goal, to get close to that performance level.”