Hori announces official Valve-licensed Steam Controller — launches on Halloween in four colors

From Tom's Hardware: On June 26, Hori announced an officially Valve-licensed Hori Steam controller to launch in Japan on October 31, in four colors, at a price point of ¥7980, or roughly $50. The available colors include Neon Yellow, Luminous Violet, Shiny White, and Midnight Black. As the yen pricing suggests, these new Hori Steam Controllers are exclusive to Japan. However, they still carry on Steam Controller's legacy in interesting ways, and they may still come Stateside. This seems to be part of Valve's ongoing efforts to court Japanese gamers, who played lots of portable games even in years when portable consoles (i.e., the Sony PSP) were unsuccessful elsewhere.

The most obvious omission of the Hori Steam Controller compared to its predecessors in the Steam Deck controller/enclosure and the original Steam Controller is the lack of Trackpads. This move is definitely catered to existing console gamers first, who would prioritize analog and D-Pad controls when using a Steam Deck or may otherwise be a convert from Nintendo Switch or what-have-you.

Not all traces of Valve's work are gone here, though. The Steam Deck has dual analogs compared to the single analog of the Steam Controller, and these Deck analogs have an additional touch sensitivity feature that allows them to be used for functionality like precise gyro aim toggling. This feature is carried over to the Hori Steam Controller, which supports the full range of Steam Input configuration options in an appropriately titled "Steam Mode." There's also a regular "XInput Mode" with rebinding and stick configuration functionality for non-Steam games.

Like most other modern game controllers of its shape, the Hori can be connected through either Bluetooth or a wired USB connection. It also has built-in Gyro functionality like Nintendo and PlayStation controllers, though not while in XInput mode. There are four built-in programmable buttons similar to the Steam Controller and Steam Deck, as well as Xbox's Elite controllers, but two of them are up front instead. Since these are meant to add convenience, this less-accessible placement is very questionable.

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