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Valve Steam controller delayed until 2015, don't expect a Steam Machine this year

Tom Morgan
28 May 2014
Valve Steam Machines
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Valve has delayed the official launch of its Steam Machine linux-powered PC/console hybrids until 2015, citing further development time for the unique controller

Valve has announced that it will not be launching its Steam Machine controller this year, and will instead now be targeting a 2015 release - implying that gamers won't see Steam Machine consoles before Christmas either.

The Steam Machine controller has already gone through several design changes, with Valve dumping the idea of a central touchscreen in favour of physical buttons, then switching the layout to a more traditional four button and D-pad style. The haptic thumbpads, which act a lot like the touchpad on a laptop, have remained a constant however.

When Steam Machines were initially announced, Valve said every box sold would ship with a dedicated Steam Machine controller to make it easier to play games from the comfort of your sofa. Now that the controller has been delayed, it would imply that the console/PC hybrids themselves have too.

First impressions: SteamOS review

In a brief post to the Steam Universe community group, Valve's Eric Hope explained that the company's number one priority was to make sure customers got " the best gaming experience possible", which would only be possible with further development time.

"We’re now using wireless prototype controllers to conduct live playtests, with everyone from industry professionals to die-hard gamers to casual gamers. It's generating a ton of useful feedback, and it means we'll be able to make the controller a lot better. Of course, it's also keeping us pretty busy making all those improvements. Realistically, we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014."

When they do finally arrive, Steam Machines could create a serious threat to Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One; they squeeze powerful PC hardware capable of 1080p gaming into living room-friendly boxes. SteamOS, the Linux-based operating system that will run on each device, is already supported by several big-name developers and others are expected to follow when the systems go on general sale.

At the time of writing, the Steam Machine homepage has yet to be updated and still refers to a 2014 launch window, so Valve will need to clarify its statement before we know if the consoles have been delayed as well. However, we would suggest crossing one off your Christmas list now as it doesn't look promising.

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