In a Tuesday blog post aimed at developers, Valve announced a new Steam feature that users will soon benefit from: the ability for developers to mark their games as DualShock 4 and DualSense compatible. The Steamworks backend will now ask developers whether their games support the PlayStation 4 and 5 controllers, and next month that information will begin to appear on store and library pages.
Thanks to Valve's controller configurator, which is built into Steam, it's already trivially easy to use both controllers in Steam games. Lack of native support means they likely won't have PlayStation button icons in-game, though, which can be confusing. And there's good reason for developers to indicate whether they have native PlayStation controller support, because Sony's controllers have some features Microsoft's don't.
The DualSense's haptic triggers, for instance, offer a unique physical experience that Sony supports in a few of its first-party games. Games that natively support Xbox controllers but only work with the PlayStation pads through Valve's API won't currently take full advantage of the DualSense. Maybe bringing this information to the surface will encourage more developers to do the same.
Valve included an interesting statistic in the post that provides another reason to offer native PlayStation controller support: a lot of people are using them. 27% of controller users on Steam are now on Sony's gamepads. Five years ago in 2018, that number was only 11%.
Here's what Valve says you can expect to see on Steam in "early October," after developers have had a month to indicate their level of controller support:
- Updates to store page area that displays controller support to also specify the level of PlayStation controller usage
- Updates to some browser pages to make it easier for players to find new games that support their controller device well
- Updates to the Steam Desktop client to indicate a game in your library has PlayStation controller support
- Updates to the Steam Desktop client to make it more clear when a game requires use of a controller to play