steam controller valve

Valve talks about PC Game controllers, lists interesting numbers

Over 60 million users in Steam use Game controllers on Steam

Valve is the best platform to know about the type of hardware, devices and OS gamers use. Most of us have Steam accounts and therefore it is a better representation of PC gaming. This gives a good idea representing the total PC gaming users in Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Steam talks about the earlier days when game controller support was dependent on game developers. Therefore, they manage compatibility between its games and gamepad controllers. This restricted users with recommended game controllers for the PC. However, since 2015, things changed as they allowed its users to remap controls of any devices. This encouraged third-party USB adapters for console controllers such as XBox and PlayStation gamepads, eventually having them make USB variants as we see today. Quite recently, I have reviewed the EasySMX gamepad controller.

As a result, there is a total of 60 million PC game controller users in Steam. There are over 30 million players on Steam who use game controllers since 2015 who registered atleast using a single unit, with over 15 million of those players using more than one. Majority of the share belongs to XBox 360 PC controller with 45% of the pie, representing 27.2 million users. This is followed by XBox One controller with 19% and PS4 controller with 20%- with a gap of 0.7 million between the current generation console controllers. Sony PlayStation 3 enjoys 7% share while other game controllers consist of a total 4.9 million, representing 8%. Suffice to be said, PC game controllers is a huge market, but no PC peripheral brands are seen anywhere.

Active Controllers last month

Once the ‘other’ piece is broken down, you will see 1,469,667 users having PC gamepads and 1,513,048 users with Steam controllers. The rest represent Switch Pro, PS2, SNES, Gamecube, Race wheels, N64 dance pads and DIY controllers. Very like, like this youtuber who re-invented the PS2 controller with a whacky choice for an analog stick and Adruino controller inside the unit.

Number of unique games played by controller type

Interestingly, the numbers of gamepad owners who play unique games are higher on the Steam Controller, with a high number of full controller supported games, followed by Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, Switch Pro and the PS4 controllers.

While 5 million is nowhere small, I believe its about time PC peripheral manufacturers should consider exploring USB gamepads. With a different type of users with a different type of preferences, it would be a great idea. Toppling those dominant numbers on the PC by console controllers is not an easy task. I talked about a game controller market that most PC peripherals manufacturers miss, with the exception of Logitech, Thrustmaster, Steam controllers and certain Chinese off-brands. One more product for all of them to RGB!

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