I spoke not too long ago about Valve’s newest ambitions, and my on going relationship with Half Life 3.
Or at least, that what it looked like, up until very recently. The trademark filing of the third installment, coinciding with the Steam Machine announcement got the conspiracy wheels ah turning. This struggled attempt at speculation seems safer than past efforts, however, and had far greater merits than other proposed hints. The ones “guaranteeing” proof positive the game was finally coming out.
This post is not an attempt at an endless slew of Half Life 3 jokes, though I have been known to go on about running jokes, from time to time. For example, I have just halted myself from derailing once again, and resisted the urge in making the rest of this piece about taking the piss out of The Batman, with a slew of hurtful puns and and failed references from his miserable past.
I have since, decided against this.
Digressing entirely, whether or note Half Life 3 will come out first on Steam Machines (or even see the light of day in relation to their launch), was only secondary to the means of other innovations they bring to the table. Between the machines themselves, which could offer themselves up as the go to high end media powerhouses to the less proactive consumer, or their ground up OS, which is gaming focused, The Steam Machines have a lot of something different to boast. Perhaps not entirely different, but convenient and attractive, which means more to most than a list of new features. Not to say they are bereft of offering something completely new, as the Steam Controller is most certainly a quirky little innovations, and one I really want to get my hands on.
I already had some faith in the controller, Valve has built up a solid credit rating with me, so a few charges of suspended disbelief are well within their limits. If nothing else, the idea behind the controller will spur others to try and make it work, and the combined efforts may be self-fufilling. One of the reasons the controller works, on a weird conceptual level, is it’s challengto both PC and console gamers to embrace the tech. This means Valve has effectively challenged the entire world to try to take them serious, and their attempt at reinventing the wheel.
They may yet do it, crazier things have happened.
This tech demo provides further assurance they have a good idea, or at least a solid theory, now they’ll just need to work on the execution…which is where it really all falls apart.Even beyond the controllers 1:1 movements and fluid motions in both movement based and aiming focused precision, the Steam Controller looks to be the most customizable controller ever, by a long shot. Even when first announced, Valve basically dared everyone to take it apart, and mix and match it’s part to your own perverse desires.
Like it’s the god damned Mr.Potato head of video game peripherals.
Or so I imagine…
Valve is quick to point out, they aren’t trying to replace the controller or M&KB, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to create a fun third option. Options are what make gaming grand, and I think if we’re at least willing to embrace a foreign alternative, we may find ourselves with a richer diversity, even without the need to remodel the gaming status quo.
If we aren’t willing to fully indulge fantasy from time to time, then why are we even gaming in the first place?