It seems like every time we see Valve's Steam Controller, it gets a little more traditional. First the company abandoned the gamepad's ambitious touchscreen for eight buttons (a makeshift d-pad and the standard X, Y, B and A toggles) -- now it seems to be trading in four of those for an analog stick. Both SteamDB and a user on the Facepunch forums pulled the above image the company's latest Steam client beta, revealing a controller almost identical to the company's current iteration save for the aforementioned change.

It's not clear if the image is just a design or if Valve has actually produced prototypes of the new layout, but it's not an unwelcome change: As innovative as the controller's tactical pads are, we found they had a tendency to feel a little alien under the thumb. For most games, an analog stick is a sufficient replacement for the d-pad it supplants, and it would also serve as an alternative control for folks who can't stomach using the left touchpad for movement. While the nod to traditional controllers is nice, we hope Valve doesn't slide too far into familiar territory -- console gamepads already have that ground covered.

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