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Above: As consoles bludgeoned each other in the 16-bit war during the early 90s, peripheral makers armed all sides with nifty gadgets like these. Some were great. Others…well…

Crawling through the dusty digital archives of the past, I found this ancient ancestor to Valve’s touch controller in a 1993 issue of Computer Gaming World. The ad says it all — “Extensively consumer-tested with game players”. The box even had a splash bubble promising “Higher scores or your money back!”

This is also the controller that writer, Craig Harris, had named in an IGN Top Ten Tuesday list in 2006 as one of the worst ever made saying:

“Dear Control Engineers: Please don’t remove the D-pad on a controller in favor of a touch-sensitive surface. You may try to con fighting gamers into thinking it’ll make smooth circular motions easier, but you may not realize they like to rest their thumb on the pad when idle. Thanks. Your Pal, Craig”

The positive buzz around Valve’s innovative controller from developers that have tried it seems to indicate that it’s heading in the right direction which should be a sign of relief to those worried about another repeat of the Turbo Touch. It’s also probably a safe bet that they won’t make the same money-back guarantee that Triax did.

Now if Valve makes an ad like this one…