After years of the Xbox 360’s gamepad — and more recently, the Xbox One’s — serving as the default controller options for the majority of Steam players, they’ll now have another option: the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller is getting official support.
The news was revealed in a developer-focused talk given at Steam Dev Days by Valve’s Jeff Billinghausen. At the event, Valve emphasized the “benefits of integrating with the Steamworks Controller API” and how Steamworks will now make it much easier to use a variety of controllers in addition to the official Steam controller.
The first new controller to receive official support for the Steam Controller API is the DualShock 4, in no small part because its layout is remarkably similar to the Steam gamepad due to its motion controls and touchpad. By default, the mouse is mapped to the right side of the touchpad as well as the gyroscope, and, as expected, the triangle, square, circle, and X buttons correspond to Y, X, B, and A on the Steam controller, respectively. Users can easily swap different buttons to better suit particular games and can export their unique configurations.
Valve says that the move to support more popular controllers is being driven by the Steamworks Controller API’s focus on “actions” instead of button inputs. The system will no longer tell software when a button was pressed, but rather that an action took place within the game. This allows not only for more flexible controller support, as players can define what exactly it means to “input” anything from their controllers, but it can also allow for separate “roles” in a cooperative game to automatically have different controller mapping.
Will you switch over to the DualShock 4 when it becomes officially supported on Steam, or are you happy with the setup you have now? What’s your favorite controller of the generation? Let us know in the comments!