Valve, the company behind Steam, recently announced the release of a new officially licensed gamepad for the platform. The Wireless Horipad for Steam, created by Hori, is set to launch in Japan on October 31st. This new controller has sparked interest among gamers, especially those who are familiar with the now-discontinued Steam Controller.

The Wireless Horipad for Steam boasts several features that set it apart from its predecessor. It is designed specifically for PC gaming and is equipped with touch sensors atop its sticks to activate gyro controls. The controller supports both Bluetooth wireless and USB-C wired connections, offering users flexibility in how they connect to their devices. Additionally, Hori’s software allows for custom programmability, giving gamers the ability to personalize their gaming experience.

While the Wireless Horipad for Steam shares similarities with the Steam Deck, it is not a direct successor to the original Steam Controller. It lacks rumble features, a matching set of back buttons, and the signature trackpads found on the handheld device. However, it does feature four programmable buttons, albeit with only two on the rear of the controller. This design choice sets it apart from traditional controllers and offers a unique gaming experience.

As of now, the Wireless Horipad for Steam is only slated for release in Japan. It is unclear whether the controller will become available in other regions, such as the US. However, the similarities between the Wireless Horipad and the wired Horipad Pro for Xbox consoles suggest that it may eventually make its way to international markets. The decision to launch the controller in Japan first may indicate the growing popularity of PC gaming in the region.

Valve’s decision to partner with Hori for the development of the Wireless Horipad for Steam reflects a broader trend in the gaming industry. With gamepad usage on Steam on the rise, Valve’s recent controller optimizations suggest that we may see a range of licensed Steam controllers from various manufacturers in the future. This mirrors the diverse offerings available for Xbox consoles, with a focus on providing more wireless options for gamers.

The introduction of the Wireless Horipad for Steam marks an exciting development in the world of PC gaming. While it may not be a direct successor to the Steam Controller, it offers unique features and customization options that appeal to gamers. The potential for wider availability and the growing popularity of PC gaming suggest a promising future for Steam controllers. As gamers await the official launch of the Wireless Horipad, the anticipation for a new era of Steam controllers continues to build.

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