[willrandship] sent in a conversation from Reddit discussing the programming ports inside the Steam controller and their potential for hacking. From the posts and the pictures it seems the radio/SoC and the MCU can be programmed on the board, or at least they both have JTAG headers. The JTAG headers are in the form of “Tag-Connect” pads on the board so it will require the dedicated cable or soldering some hardware to the board temporarily.
From the pictures we can see a NXP LPC11U37F ARM Cortex-M0 and a Nordic nRF51822 ARM Cortex-M0 SoC with integrated Bluetooth low energy. There are only a limited number of Steam Controllers in the wild at this time so we don’t expect much in the way of hacking them thus far. There is a Steam Controller hackaday.io project just started for anyone who would like to contribute to the Steam Controller hacking.
The controller is available for pre-order on the Steam website for $49.99 but alas, it is just a pre-order, and we can’t play with it today. The semi-good news is that its still possible to have one before Christmas if you’re willing to pay for a hamburger today.
In case you missed it, we covered Steam’s statement about the controller being open and hackable back in 2013. We also discussed the JTAT “tag-connector” a while back.