Clearly you and I read different corners of the internet. Most of the articles I read, particularly at the time of launch, were praising the controller. Infact I cannot remember reading any article that was worse than "neutral".
We clearly do. I recall quite a mixture of positive and negative articles on the controller prior and shortly after launch.
As to paradigm shift, the Steam Controller was part of their Steam Machines push - something very definitely intended to upset the industry by replacing both Windows and Consoles. A noble goal in itself, but it fell very short in execution.
Again, I'm left wondering where you got that info. Valve never once talked about the Steam Machines as something designed to 'replace' consoles nor Windows. SteamOS and Steam Machines were intended to be nothing more than an alternate option. Hell, on their website the core tagline is: "Bring PC Gaming to Your Living Room. Presenting a collection of hardware designed to expand the Steam gaming experience to your TV."
Don't see anything about "Toss out your consoles and old PCs. Steam Machines are here." That all came from click-bait websites.
As I said before, customization can be achieved on other controllers - even to the level of the Steam Controller, You just need appropriate software to do the job. Its like Apple Macs and the GUI - they did not invent the GUI, but they were the first to "get it right" and popularise the concept.
Not really. The customization options for the Steam controller occur at the software and firmware level. What you're talking about would occur at a secondary software level. So not only do those sorts of software programs often not offer the breadth of options available on the Steam controller, you're also adding one or two layers of input lag.
Go read its Steam page. The Trackpads are literally the first enumerated feature, and they split it into two parts (Dual Trackpads and HD Haptics); by comparison the customization features are barely mentioned.
The haptics aren't exclusive to the track pads and are unrelated. The HD haptics are essentially a progression of 'rumble' motors. Their a combination of gen-3 and gen-4 haptic tech.
For comparison's sake, the Xbone and PS4 controllers use gen-1 haptic tech.
And the first thing they list, depending on which part of the page you look, is either:
What you were looking at was the hardware overview, which would not include firmware and software-related features. Regardless, we were talking about the primary selling point Valve was playing up prior to launch, of which was the customization, moddability, and community profile sharing.
That doesn't really make sense. Obviously people who've never tried to talking smack don't count and I try to ignore those voices,
How do you differentiate those who've never used it and those who have?
but dismissing people who have tried it but didn't like it isn't fair.
When did I say I did that? I never said people can't dislike the controller. That would be stupid. I said a great many negative reviews that I've seen were from those who tried using the controller for a very short amount of time, found it odd and different, and deemed it as terrible. Conversely, I've found that many of those who've put in the time to learn it often end up liking it, with a smaller number still not liking it. The Steam review pages are indicative of this.
Particularly with things like ergonomic comfort, a few minutes can be all it takes to know something isn't for you - the length of time reaching that opinion doesn't make it invalid.
I never said that wasn't invalid, but sure.
The argument you're making is similar to saying that the DOS Command Prompt is extremely powerful and intuitive if you work with it long enough, and anyone who disagrees hasn't used it long enough.
That's not a good analogy. And not at all anything I was arguing.
Its a tautology:
Not really. But regardless...
If you do anything enough you'll get used to it; that doesn't make it inherently superior.
...I never said it did.
Also, conversely: Just because it may take time to change your natural inclination to something you're not inherently familiar with doesn't mean that new thing is inherently inferior. Many people viewed analog sticks as odd, awkward, and unintuitive when they were first introduced. Many saw no reason to use them over the standard d-pad. Nowadays, analog sticks are ubiquitous on almost all controllers.
Also you'll note that when I said the consensus is "meh", I was refering to the Trackpads in particular, and not the controller as a whole. I have yet to personally read an article that isn't luke-warm about the trackpads.
When were those articles published? Many of the early reviews were a mixture of negative and lukewarm. However, a number of them were updated to change the review to positive, even glowing, after the author had put in time to learn the controller. You'll find similar responses in the Steam review pages.
A fair point and one I was not aware of, however you still need Steam to setup the profile in the first place, so saying that Steam "only offers expanded functionality" is disingenious - you literally cannot use what you're arguing is the controller's primary unique selling point without Steam.
How was I being disingenuous? You argued that the controller would not function without Steam. I said that wasn't true. (which it isn't) The other portion is unrelated to that.
And even then, my statement about the expanded functionality still isn't disingenuous. You can plug in and use the Steam Controller without ever installing Steam. It will simply default to a mixture of X-input defaults and default settings created by Valve. The customization of the default profile(s) is very much a part of that "expanded functionality".