Zotac Steam Machine ZBOX NEN SN970 Review

Steam Controller

Zotac Steam Machine SN970 Review

Steam Controller

The Steam Controller is something that most PC gamers see as being very marmite, many people love the Idea, heralding it as the next big leap for controller designs while others say that it is awkward to use too weird when compared to a traditional dual analogue stick controller like Sony's PS4 controller or the Xbox One controller. 

Having used this controller for a few weeks now all I can say is that it is a real grower on me, at first I found the experience to be very different than a traditional controller, but in time I found it to be not just usable but just as good as my Xbox controller. 

 

 

With it's dual trackpads with Haptic feedback you can use the controller easily like an analogue stick by moving your finger across the trackpad in controller based games, or like a traditional trackpad in mouse driven games. 

The second (left) trackpad is mostly used as a D-pad for games, which makes it functionally identical to a traditional D-pad under most circumstances. The analogue stick was easily reached and moved by my hands and was very comfortable to use for extended periods of time.

One thing that will likely annoy those with very large or very small hands is the placement of the XYBA buttons, as their central position will make it hard to some people to reach or make those with large hands over-reach and hit the analogue stick on the other side. This placement allows the main trackpad to take it's position on the top right, which is the place where is is certainly most comfortable to use. 

One the rear of the controller there are two rear clickable buttons, which can be binded for specific game controls, giving your controller what is essentially a hotkey, which is something that really improves the controller experience. One example that I used these buttons for was for diving and going prone in MGSV, which was something that I found to be very handy. 

I used this controller to play through almost the entirety of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and at least 3 hours of Fallout 4 wile also using it while testing this unit with multiple other games through the duration of testing this Steam Machine and during my Spare time. Over this time I can say that I do like this controller, and will certainly be using it more in the future.  

 

 Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  

 

Included with the controller is the controller itself, a pair of batteries for the controller, a wireless dongle for the controller and a Micro-USB cable which can be used to directly power the controller. 

Valve say that a single set of batteries can power their Steam Controller for around 80-hours, which I would say is correct given the fact that I have not needed to replace the batteries yet.  

 

Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  

 

The controller is very lightweight, and very easy to hold in your hands, which is unsurprising given this controllers resemblance to the Xbox 360/Xbox One controller. 

The batteries are stored at either edge of the controller, placing the weight of the controller firmly within the players hands, which makes the controller feel very good to hold. 

With this Steam Machine you can turn on the PC by pushing the central Steam button on the controller, giving this controller similar functionality to the controllers on the Xbox One and the PS4.

 

Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  

 

Controller customization

For every game on Steam users and developers can design game specific controller bindings, allowing games to be able to be given specific control options on Valve's Steam controller, even if it doesn't have native controller support. 

Games that already have controller support can very easily have keys rebinded and be modified to make use of the extra buttons on the Steam Controller, allowing you the player to easily improve on the games default controls and make games easier or more comfortable to play. 

One example that I mentioned further up in the page was Metal Gear Solid V, where I was able to bind the crouch and dive buttons to the rear paddles, which was something that made the games controls much easier to use, making the gameplay experience better as a result.  

 

Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  

«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Next»

Most Recent Comments

20-11-2015, 04:33:27

Wraith
Impressive! I can honestly see these machines becoming the death of consoles in the future, or at least the kick up the back side that Sony or Microsoft need to actually make games consoles attractive to the enthusiasts among us, but then again what would be the point in a console that has a 12 year shelf life, where's the profit in that.Quote

20-11-2015, 04:35:04

King of Old Old School
Can anyone say Console Killer Quote

20-11-2015, 05:19:25

stiff77
Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Old School View Post
Can anyone say Console Killer
It's £799.99

That's an Xbox One, A PS4 and £200 for games.

It's not killing anything. I can build a faster machine that is slightly bigger for less than this.Quote

20-11-2015, 05:28:01

Wraith
Quote:
Originally Posted by stiff77 View Post
It's £799.99

That's an Xbox One, A PS4 and £200 for games.

It's not killing anything. I can build a faster machine that is slightly bigger for less than this.
Aye but PC games are cheaper and have many many early access sites offering better prices compared to the mandatory £49.99 console game RRP, no online subscription fees, Steam library far out wieghs the level of titles available on consoles, with those savings alone it's a bonus. Admittedly Yes you could indeed build a Steam machine yourself for less and greater spec so again win win. I can still personnaly see Steam machines killing the console market.Quote

20-11-2015, 07:15:17

clownfromhell
I would love to see some benchmarks on this machine running Windows 10. I seriously consider buying it (I dig the form factor and I own and love a Zotac HTPC) for 1080p gaming on a TV, but I don't intend to ruin my experience with a subpar OS (and gamepad - Xbox One controller with a dongle is a must).Quote
Reply
x

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.