Revolutionizing Game Play: The Surge of Controller Use on Steam

In an era where PC gaming is more vibrant than ever, Valve reveals a remarkable trend: the increasing adoption of game controllers among Steam users. This shift reflects an evolving landscape in PC gaming habits. Since 2018, daily controller usage on Steam has seen a dramatic uptick, escalating from 5% to 15% of all gaming sessions. This tripling in usage showcases a changing preference among gamers, veering towards the comfort and versatility offered by controllers.

Amidst this surge, Xbox controllers emerge as the frontrunners, commanding a commanding 59% majority of the controller market on Steam. Surprisingly, PlayStation controllers are not far behind, securing a 26% share. This is particularly noteworthy given the Xbox controller’s native integration with Windows operating systems, simplifying its use for PC gaming. Following these, Valve’s own innovative Steam Deck grabs a 10% slice of the action, underscoring the device’s growing influence in the gaming community.

Valve’s collaborative efforts with Sony to bolster PlayStation controller support on Steam have borne fruit, especially with enhancements for the PS5’s DualSense Edge controller. Such initiatives promise an enriched gaming experience for PlayStation aficionados. Furthermore, Valve reassures that future third-party PlayStation controllers will enjoy full Steam compatibility, opening doors to a multitude of gaming possibilities.

In an effort to enhance Xbox controller functionality on Windows, Valve has taken the initiative to release a driver update. This upgrade significantly improves support for Xbox One controllers, including advanced features like the Elite controller’s rear buttons – a refinement gamers might expect directly from Microsoft. This development signifies Valve’s commitment to seamless gaming across controller brands.

Aligning with the rising controller use, Valve revamped the Big Picture mode, introducing a new controller user interface that mirrors the Steam Deck’s design. Additionally, the expansion of the controller configurator tool signifies Valve’s dedication to customizability and ease of use, ensuring an optimal gaming experience for controller users.

The landscape of PC gaming input devices is diversifying, with over 300 controller models now supported on Steam, challenging the traditional keyboard and mouse supremacy. In an exciting collaboration, Valve is partnering with the renowned Japanese manufacturer HORI to produce a special HORIPAD for Steam, expected to hit the Japanese market this summer. While details of a global launch remain under wraps, this partnership hints at the broadening horizons for controller gaming on Steam.

As Valve continues to innovate and strengthen controller support, the boundaries of PC gaming are expanding. This shift towards diverse input methods not only enhances accessibility but also enriches the gaming experience for a wider audience. The future of PC gaming is undoubtedly more inclusive and versatile, thanks to these advancements.

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