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    Growing Popularity of Controller Usage Among Steam Gamers Spurs Valve to Enhance Features and Support

      TL;DR: Valve reports a significant rise in Steam games being played with controllers, tripling from 5% to 15% since 2018. Xbox controllers lead with 59% of usage, followed by 26% with PlayStation controllers, and 10% with Steam Decks. The Steam Input service, used in 46% of sessions, supports this trend with tailored features. Valve’s updates, including the Big Picture mode and Steam HORIPAD support, cater to this growing demographic. The 2022 launch of the Steam Deck highlights Valve's commitment to enhancing controller support, hinting at future controller innovations.

    Rising Trend: Playing Steam Games with Controllers

    Valve, the leading video game distribution platform, recently published a report indicating that there's been a significant uptick in their users playing Steam games with controllers. The stats are rather intriguing - the daily average of controller usage has tripled from around 5% to 15% since 2018. This significant surge highlights that a growing number of users are preferring controllers over the traditional mouse and keyboard for their gaming sessions.

    Preferred Controllers Among Gamers

    While it's clear that controllers are gaining popularity, not all controllers are created equal in the eyes of the users. The report from Valve further breaks down the user preferences when it comes to their choice of controller. According to the data, 59% of controller sessions are played using an Xbox controller, 26% with PlayStation controllers, and Steam Decks making up the remaining 10%.

    The statistics also shed light on the fact that 46% of controller sessions make use of Valve’s controller-friendly service, Steam Input. This platform provides features and options specifically tailored for those using controllers, thus encouraging more players to make the switch.

    Valve's Recent Mobility and Controller Support Efforts

    In an effort to accommodate the growing base of controller users, Valve has initiated several updates and new features. Some noteworthy recent updates include the Big Picture update, an enhanced controller configurator, improved gyro aiming, virtual menus, and expanded support for a broader range of PlayStation and Xbox controllers.

    In addition to these changes, Valve also announced that they have added support for the new Steam HORIPAD, expected to debut in Japan this summer. However, no precise numbers or comparisons with mouse and keyboard users were unveiled in this particular report.

    It is also important to remember that Valve made a concerted effort to delve deeper into the realm of traditional controller support for PC gaming with the 2022 launch of the Steam Deck. This release reflects Valve's continuous exploration into the controller landscape, following the trail of its discontinued Steam Controller.

    In their recent missives, Valve hinted at a possible revival of its own controller offering in the future. This endeavor will continue to foster a more inclusive and diverse gaming environment, catering to players' diverse control preferences.

    Image Credit: Photo by FOX: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-xbox-controller-on-brown-wooden-surface-2106216/

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