Valve never only does one version of something. We’ve learned through years of developer commentaries and interviews that Valve as a company is a big fan of iterating. Make something, test it, figure out what doesn’t work.
In a document leaked from files in the latest Steam Client Beta, the new redesign looks to be adding a directional pad to the controller.
The controller has had a few redesigns previously.
The original prototype was announced in September 2013 and featured a touchscreen and two haptic touchpads. A few months later, the touchscreen disappeared and two sets of face buttons appeared. July added a thumbstick in place of one of those sets of face buttons.
Eurogamer notes that Valve will be skipping CES next month but plans to have “a large Steam Machine presence” at the 2015 Game Developers Conference in March, at which point we can expect to see the redesign.