The Steam controller has gotten a not-so-little design tweak. According to this tweet by the Steam Database folks (who are, I should point out, not affiliated with Valve), the latest version of the gamepad now sports a good old-fashioned analog stick:
Valve has changed their Steam controller once again, here's an image showing the latest revision pic.twitter.com/kFVhMQ0XrC— Steam Database (@SteamDB) July 23, 2014
Yep, that's definitely an analog stick. Compare that to the original design, which had a big touchscreen in the middle, and the circa-GDC revision, which replaced the touchscreen with four buttons and a d-pad.
The analog stick takes care of my biggest beef with the Steam controller, which is that its fancy dual touchpads have a pretty steep learning curve—and, since this a unique design, nobody has prior experience with these things. A Valve guy I spoke to at GDC said that, because of the touchpads, familiarizing himself with the controller took eight hours. I was personally hopeless with it after a 10-minute session.
Early adopters will hopefully face less frustration with the new design. Not that anybody's going to be adopting this thing all that early, mind you. Last we heard, Valve had delayed both the Steam controller and the Steam machines until 2015.