Currently, if you use a controller on PC, either the Xbox 360 or Xbox One controllers are your go-to options. Microsoft has support for both controllers baked into Windows operating systems, making them easy for developers and players to utilize. Valve is looking to change things, bringing the Steam Controller and DualShock 4 into parity. In a Steam Dev Days talk covered by Gamasutra, Valve's Jeff Bellinhausen and Level Up Labs Lars Doucet talked about improving PC support for both controllers.
The Steam Controller has sold 500,000 units since launch and Valve expects to sell 1 million by early 2017. Valve has found that Steam controller sales rise with bundles and sales, but the company is also hoping to increase the discoverability of game that use the Steam Controller well.
"We're working on ways to improve discoverability of games that play well with the controller. Now that there is a significant installed base of controller users we are working on ways to promote games that they may be interested in," the pair stated. "One of the more direct methods is to present customers with a 'most popular with Steam Controller' games list. Titles on this list will be easily discoverable for both new purchasers as well as existing customers. We will also continue to run focused sales that highlight hand-picked controller-friendly titles."
On the DualShock 4 side of things, Valve has found the Steam API plays real well with the standard PlayStation 4 controller. In seeking to expand the Steam controller API, the company has decided to start there.
"Soon we will be shipping an update that adds full configurability to controllers other than the Steam Controller. This means that players can pair their PS4 controller directly to their PC and use all the configurability options available to the Steam Controller, including use of the PS4 touchpad and gyro," said the pair in their talk.
"Now, why start with the PS4 controller? Well, not only is it a really nice, high quality controller, but it's also got a gyro and a touchpad, so it's got a lot of overlapping functionality with the Steam Controller. Also, existing native support for the PS4 controller on the PC is a bit weak; in this case Steam itself is communicating directly with the device so everything that's nice and reliable."
This support will also be coming for other controllers and devices, but Valve doesn't have anything to announce on that front yet. For PC players that prefer the DualShock 4 to the Xbox One controller, this is great news.