Valve's Steam Controller has been getting a mixed response from journalists who finally got to try out the hardware at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Valve recognizes that the controller still needs a lot of work and tweaking, but ultimately the goal is to make it work with all kinds of games – even games that one would think "require" the use of a mouse and keyboard. With that in mind, Valve tells Polygon that it hopes that the Steam Controller will eventually be able to play complex keyboard and mouse dependent games like Dota 2 someday.
Valve engineer Jeff Bellinghausen said that while it's possible to play Dota 2 in Legacy Mode (buttons on the controller are mapped to keyboard and mouse commands in this particular mode), the aim is to fully and accurately integrate the controller with the game.
"[Dota 2] is a really complex game that uses a good half of the keyboard," he explained. "And it's a real challenge, but would also be really exciting. To be able to play Dota from the couch is a really neat opportunity. It's also something that's pushing the performance and resolution of the trackpad.
"For a game like Dota, we're probably not going to be able to match it perfectly," Bellinghausen added. "You're not going to take [Dota pro Danylo Ishutina] and have him play at his level with the controller, but that's not really the goal. That's true of the controller in general."
"Certainly something like Dota has a sophistication to it that is going to be challenging. We're thinking we'll get 90 percent of the way there."
Valve knows that in order for gamers to adapt its quirky new controller it has to work well with all kinds of games. Most Steam users currently use PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers in Big Picture Mode because the layout is familiar and many of the games that support them on Steam work very well (for the most part). Getting the Steam Controller to work with all kinds of games is paramount in getting gamers to adapt it.
You can check out the rest of Polygon's interview here.