Steam DevDays is currently ongoing, featuring a series of talks hosted by Valve detailing their plans for Steam in the upcoming months and years. There are plenty of interesting tidbits coming out of the event (all helpfully cataloged by the fine folks over at SteamDB), but one particular announcement regarding controller support in games caught our immediate interest.
PS4 controller coming first.
Other controller support coming later.
Benefits listed below. pic.twitter.com/kVPpI51WzY
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) October 12, 2016
In the coming weeks, Valve will be adding support for Sony’s DualShock 4 controller directly into the Steam client. This means that you will be able to configure the controller for use with any game on the Steam store in a similar fashion to the way that the official Steam controller works now. This means that developers will be able to assign a default controller configuration for Steam to use, but users will also be able to create and share a configuration, allowing for users to curate the best control methods for each game on the service.
The presentation went on to say that Valve is hoping to add this level of support for other controllers in the future. They started with the PS4’s main controller due to the device’s popularity and the lack of official support on PC. Steam’s Controller API will be added into the Steamworks package, allowing developers to freely integrate it into their games in the same manner as Steam Achievements and trading cards.
For those who want to get super technical about how this controller support will be integrated, the full presentation has been posted in text form over on Gamasutra.
I cannot tell you how happy I am about this development. I was born with a nerve disease that limits my ability to play games on PC with keyboard and mouse. The Steam Controller is a wonderful little device, but its stick layout is tough to get used to for someone who grew up pretty much exclusively on Xbox. With this announcement, it will be easier than ever for me and thousands of gamers with problems much worse than mine to enjoy every game out there. Say what you will about some of Valve’s recent missteps, but initiatives like this prove to me that they’re still a force for good in the industry.