Steam updates its functionality multiple times a year, but this change is one that made us take notice. Valve posted an update on December 12th stating it was adding Steam Configurator support to the PS4 Dual Shock Controller. This allows native API support, as well as allowing user to “map the trackpad, gyro, buttons, etc. to keyboard, mouse, or x-input outputs and can make use of action sets, touch menus, radial menus, and so forth.” AbleGamers has already done an evaluation of the Steam Controller and what remapping that controller looks like, but there are some differences when it comes to the PS4 Dual Shock Controller, so we thought we’d take another look at the accessible options present.
With the update to Steam installed, entering Big Picture mode and clicking on Add/Test Controller with a Dual Shock connected to the computer will add the controller to the list. From there, the options really open up.
Not only are macro options available and rumble able to be turned on and off, but the new Radial Menu function allows one button on the controller to become multiple buttons. Part of the touchpad can recreate mouse/joystick support much like the touchpads on the Steam Controller, giving players more options to customize their gameplay experience to their own needs. The update also allows multiple profiles, as well as the ability to save these configurations to the cloud storage. All of these are great additions for accessibility control with Steam, combining the in-depth options of the Steam Controller with the PS4 controller. This opens up new avenues for custom controller possibilities by adding in PS4 controllers and accessories already out there. Theoretically, even controllers like the PS4 Hatsune Miku Project Diva X controller mentioned previously on this site could help someone start playing the wealth of games on Steam for the first time.
Valve, thank you for taking the additional efforts to increase controller choices on your platform. With opening up the Steam Configurator to PS4, a new world of gaming can be opened to gamers who may have not been able to game before. The more options that Steam provides for controllers on the platform, the more players will be able to take part in Steam, bringing even more people to the platform and helping developers with more sales as well. Accessibility takes extra effort, but bringing in more people to gaming improves the entire industry as a whole.