Valve's Steam Controller is far and away the most versatile gamepad you can buy right now. Not only is it built on the most automated assembly line in the US, but its dual touchpads and internal gyroscopes make it useful outside games. Interested? Good. Because after a long wait Valve will finally start shipping the Steam Controller and Steam Link directly to Australia very soon.
That little tidbit was announced at a Valve Steam Dev Days session by Jeff Bellinghausen, an engineer working on the Controller. Valve thinks that it'll sell a million Steam Controllers by early 2017, and Australia is part of that push alongside eastern Europe, south-east Asia, Latin America and other Oceania regions... except New Zealand. According to Bellinghausen some of these regions can buy the Controller already, and the rest will spin up "over the next few months".
It's not yet confirmed just how much the Steam Controller will cost for Aussies, but you can take a rough guess based on its $US49.99 price and $10 international shipping fees, which at current exchange rates translates into about $80. If it's more than $100, we'll be spitting chips.
Also being sold alongside the Steam Controller will be the Steam Link, a network-attached streaming box that can mirror games from your desk-bound gaming PC onto a big-screen TV in another room over Wi-Fi or a wired connection. All the hardware and protocols for Steam Link will also be integrated directly into future Samsung TVs, too, so that's a good reason to splash some cash out on a complete home cinema upgrade.
The entire Dev Days chat that talks about how game devs can best implement all the (potentially confusing) inputs that the Steam Controller makes possible is actually really interesting. It's targeted at developers, obviously, but it's worth a read if you're thinking about getting one and building your own customised input profile — something that's already been done by gamers 1.2 million times since the Controller launched.