It’s not often you see game controllers of any stripe on sale for the low price of just $5. That’s why Valve‘s recent Steam Controller blowout got so much attention during their annual Autumn Sale. Even if you’re not in the market for a controller now, it’s good to have the hardware in case someone online hacks it for new functionality in the future. However, it seems that a lot of people thought the same way, as Valve accidentally sold more controllers than there were left in their warehouse.
Recent purchasers received a message starting yesterday about refunds for their orders. According to the statement, Valve “mistakenly took more orders for the Steam Controller than they were able to fulfill.” Valve refunded the money through original payment methods when possible, although at least one Reddit user claims that their credit payment was routed to the Steam Wallet rather than their account.
It’s worth noting that the Steam store page for the controller is still active as of this writing, and it still seems possible to order a controller. Valve notes on the page that “delays are expected on new orders due to very high volume. Once your order has been processed, it will still ship and arrive within 4-8 business days.” While I am speculating, this would seem to indicate that Valve has some stock remaining, and they are perhaps unable to ship it to some countries or ship multiple controllers to past owners.
The Steam controller first launched in November of 2015 amidst Valve’s now-halted push for Linux Steam Machines. Despite its unpopularity among the mainstream, the controller has carved out a significant niche in the PC gaming community, especially thanks to Steam’s automatic sharing of button configurations and its impressive customization options. It include dual trackpads to imitate mouse control, paddle buttons in addition to the standard bumpers and triggers, and the ability to beep out a version of the Team Fortress 2 theme on command.
Its companion device, the Steam Link, has been discontinued, although Valve has released a Steam Link app on various platforms that serves the same functionality of broadcasting games from your local Steam PC. The Steam Controller received a firmware update to support Bluetooth connections in order to support these apps.