The “Darth Vader Steam Controller” In Action :-)

Okay okay I should probably back off on the whole Darth Vader thing, but it did look a bit like Darth Vader in the picture earlier.  Hat tip to Geeks Are Sexy for the link to this video.  🙂


Regarding Valve’s “Darth Vader Controller”

The final announcement at the end of the week last week was the “Darth Vader Controller” as I like to call it which is going to be the official controller for the Steam machines, though I imagine it will function as a PC peripheral too for people who just run Steam on a regular PC, and the Steam machines as computers will probably support other peripherals too, and I’m being nice here.  What I’m really thinking is something along the lines of if Valve wants SteamOS and Steam Machines to amount to anything they’d best preserve the openness and configurability of PC gaming setups.  😉

Hmm…  Interesting design, but I think the deck is stacked against it.  First, when it comes to symmetry and right/left-handedness, my generation of gamers among others who grew up with Nintendo-inspired gamepads will probably be far too used to D-pad left buttons right to really consider switching the two, though maybe some folks who’ve PC-gamed their whole lives with the option of a left-handed mouse setup will appreciate being able to flip everything around.

The other thing I’m concerned about are the touchpads.  Tactile feedback from buttons actually being buttons is becoming a baby with bathwater situation these days.  People are too quick to abandon buttons for things like virtual keyboards and stuff while recent history is showing that real buttons still have a place in the computing world.  Touch-typing, for example, which lets me type these big blog entries without taking all day, (:-P) operates via tactile feedback with knowing where the homerow keys are so you can know where your hands are on the keyboard without having to look at it.  At the other end of the spectrum, texting while driving….  :-\  Yeah.  Don’t do it.  😦

This controller does have buttons, namely finger triggers and four buttons that look like they’d be great thumb-stretching exercise.  I don’t know.  Have the console FPSes done their damage here?  Are twiddly thumbs no longer an asset when it comes to gaming?  Instead it’s all about trigger fingers and what’ll probably be virtual buttons on one of the two touchpads on that controller.

We’ll just have to see what Valve does with this, as well as Steam machines and SteamOS.  A lot of people are talking about these products like they’re already out, when in reality this was just an announcement and a lot could still change.  🙂

Steam Machines – So There WILL Be A “Steam Box…” Or Two… Or A Bunch… :-D

“You know Jay, I think people are jumping to conclusions about Valve getting into hardware because they hear Steam and hardware, but Valve has nowhere said ‘Steam Box.’  That’s kind of a term that was invented by the media.”

Looks like Stafa should have listened to these media folks when we talked about this stuff on Out Of Continues.  😀

There’s a third announcement coming up on Friday, so it’ll be interesting to see just what Valve adds to these already great announcements regarding Steam OS and now Steam Machines.  My earlier points regarding PC Gaming and Linux still stand as well.  This is huge for the current race-to-the-bottom PC market since the Steam Machines will be based on standards in terms of minimum amounts of gaming hardware so perhaps other types of PCs besides crappy $300 eMachines that barely do Internet and E-mail can finally have a reason to be sold again in this day and age of consoles desperately trying to remain relevant as more flexible and open gaming models like PC Gaming start flexing their muscle.  This Steam stuff will be huge in making that happen.  🙂

Consoles already are in a serious jam with the manufacturers previously having bragged about 10 years being the target lifecycle for these new machines, yet the developers behind The Witcher 3 are already talking about nearly maxing out the capabilities of the PS4.  Uh oh.  😛  Looks like console gamers who previously made fun of PC gamers constantly upgrading hardware might be in for a bit of a surprise next go-round.  😛

Out Of Continues Episode 75 – a.k.a. The Gabe Newell Special

Looks like both of our ISPs conspired to cut me off with the Skype call this time around, and AT&T even disconnected me from the call once.  Just more egg on the broadband industry’s face that in the year 2013 a simple audio recording over the Internet still has to be an ordeal.  😛  Anyhoo, here’s the show.

…or for the YouTube-averse…  😀

I jokingly call this “The Gabe Newell Special” because the entire main discussion is based on Gabe Newell’s keynote speech from DICE this year, particularly the hardware part where he talks about emerging technologies that’ll help PC Gaming come back even more from the mess that it was in several years ago before Steam took off plus the mess PCs are in now

Since this show, I’ve played around with some primitive in-home streaming over my somewhat dated G Network.  I’m now curious what I’ll be able to do after upgrading to 802.11n on the cheap.  Hmmm….  🙂

Let’s just say that Gabe Newell is definitely a free-thinking maverick on this sort of stuff.  I was reading about all this “Death Of The PC” “Post PC” “PCmageddon” stuff and his speech made for a great counter to all of that.

Gabe Newell Has The Right Idea

Awhile back I ran into this keynote speech that Gabe Newell gave at the DICE Summit earlier this year.  It really got me rethinking some of the things like PC vs. Consoles and the whole “Post PC” thing after hearing some of his points. I can see what Stafa from Out Of Continues likes this guy so much.

Now I just have to get around to beating Portal and playing more Steam games.  🙂  I’ll definitely be doing more with this speech later on.  🙂

Out Of Continues Episode 67 – The Revenge

After the horrendous Comcast-induced lagfest that was my last Out Of Continues guest appearance, this show has come roaring back.  🙂

I sound a little weird through certain virtual surround sound setups because Stafa has been playing with some new toys as far as recording software goes, but it looks like the lag was much less of an issue this time.  In fact, it almost sounds like at the times we DO lag out, we kind of take turns having a syllable dropped by the recording software.  That is something I don’t understand.  How on Earth is Stafa lagging out when this is being recorded at his computer? 😛  Is he using some kind of cloud Skype recorder…?  😀  I don’t know.  Personally, I’d just have Audacity going lol.  🙂

As far as the topic goes, the whole thing about “Does Steam Set Standards For PC Gaming?” stems from the fact that both of  us are big fans of Steam, myself having gone from distrusting it to the point where if I play a non-Steam game it feels like something’s missing.  Personally I think this show went much better topicwise and discussionwise than most of the others I’ve done, and is probably a candidate for best show ever… easily.  🙂  You get that though with this type of stuff.  I remember in my college radio days there was an ebb and flow to how well shows went.  Ultimately, no matter how things go, the show must go on.  I am kind of at a loss for topics though for the time being, so hopefully I’m not up in the rotation of guest hosts again anytime soon.  😀

The MultimediaJay Show – “It Runs On Steam!!!”

I’ve returned to the podcast mic at least one more time before 2012 goes into the history books, this time to talk about Steam and its effects on gaming for me, as well as the recently-confirmed “Steam Box” console that should eventually bring Steam gaming into the living room.  Clickable program guide to skip between the various segments is in the video description on the YouTube page of course.  🙂

This show was a little awkward for me not only because it has been awhile since I last recorded a full-length podcast, but also because I tried recording the two main segments on different days.  I probably should iron a few things out before trying that again.  🙂  In any event, here’s some related links and videos.

Time Techland – Why A “Steam Box” Game Console Would Be A Big Deal

This was the blog article I responded to in the News Commentary part of the show.  I’d say for the most part this article hit things right on the nose about the potential a “Steam Box” could have.

Note to anyone who doesn’t like swearing – you probably won’t like this next video.  😉

This of course was Armake21’s old rant video from several years ago, now part of the ArmakeArchive channel about how DRM and various forms of anti-piracy stuff in PC games can punish people wanting to do the right thing while folks who don’t do the right thing often aren’t hindered much if at all by DRM and anti-piracy programs.  I brought up DRM at various points during the show and mentioned this video, so I figured I should probably post it here too.   😉

Lastly, the “outro music”, an Overclocked Remix that goes well with it being the holiday humbug season.  🙂