Hello denizens of Total Gaming Network! I feel as though I owe some sort of an explanation here as to where the promised reviews are for the Steam Controller and Steam Link.

Part of it is because I am hitting some terrible mental blockades that have really put a damper on creating anything cohesive as far as reviews go. It started with the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns review and it has not let up since then. I'm not sure why I've been hit with such a terrible bout of writer's block when it comes to reviews, but I have and it sucks.

With that said, I have been working on reviews for the Steam Controller and Steam Link as best as I can. In fact, I even have a bulk of the review "finished" for the Steam Controller already.

The major problem I have right now isn't with the fact that I feel creatively bankrupt, it's more to do with the fact that the Steam Controller and Steam Link are still in a state of perpetual change.

In late October, Valve provided me with two Steam Controllers and a Steam Link for review purposes ahead of the main public launch on November 10. I have, when appropriate, been using and testing both devices during all this time. They simply requested that I do not offer up any "final" review until November 10.

I was a bit surprised to see so many get their reviews out on the 10. Sure, that is when the two devices had their public launch but it still felt odd to me that seemingly "final" reviews for new hardware devices were out already. I originally planned to have mine out on the 10th as well but something happened: Valve kept updating the devices. They updated the devices multiple times leading up to their November 10 release.

I then figured I would have the reviews out roughly one week later. I figured that, you know, maybe I would give Valve some time to iron out whatever remaining launch issues they had with the devices that were somehow missed in the pre-release roll out. I felt that with what I had written already, not much would really need to change based solely on the idea that Valve would only roll out bug fixes and nothing more.

The problem was, Valve didn't simply roll out bug fixes. They rolled out new functionality for both devices. They rolled out updates that actually changed important options, especially when it comes to the Steam Link and the In-Home Streaming capabilities. They haven't just rolled out one update either, they have rolled out multiple updates. Just in the past week alone Valve pushed out five updates to the Steam Client beta that included changes to the Steam Controller, the Steam Link (including In-Home Streaming), or in the case of many of these updates, changes to both the Controller and Link.

I cannot say for sure when I will have these reviews finalized. It is my assumption that the updates will slow down now with the one-two punch of Thanksgiving and Christmas. This should hopefully allow me an opportunity to finalize the reviews without worry of an update making my thoughts obsolete. I will say that I seem to have had a far more positive experience with both the Steam Controller and Steam Link than many other outlets seemed to have. I am not sure if this is because of my low expectations going in or if it's because I discovered that these devices actually suit my needs quite nicely. Of course, this current mindset came only after overcoming the near vertical learning curve on the Controller. To be honest, I am now at the point where I have actually wished on a few occasions that I could use the Steam Controller on my PS4.

Now you know where my reviews are for Valve's hardware offerings. If you absolutely must hear my opinion on whether or not you should pick one or both devices up, I'll give a quick and dirty rundown. For PC games that I would typically play with a controller (strategy, adventure, third-person titles, etc.), I preferred the Steam Controller over my wired Xbox 360 controller. However, there are games that I still felt more comfortable playing with a mouse and keyboard, regardless of the controller options I had at my disposal. Interestingly, this preference for mouse and keyboard, a preference once set in stone for some genres (IE: first-person shooters), became a lot more questionable the more I used the controller.

Now, if I was playing a game (of any genre) casually, say through the Steam Link and away from my desk, I really had no problems using and adjusting to the Steam Controller. This was regardless of my keyboard/mouse or controller preference. It did take a while to overcome a bulk of the learning curve and I have no doubts that I have a ways to go before I am 100% comfortable with every aspect of the Steam Controller. As for the other hardware device, the Steam Link did as it advertised. I was able to sit back in my bed and play some streamed PC games on my TV without much hassle. The quality seemed just fine to my somewhat untrained eye. There were a few quirks here and there but the overall experience was a positive one.