Valve has released a new build of its Steam digital distribution and application programming interface (API) platform, and if you're a gamepad fan it brings with it a wealth of improvements and enhancements.
Valve's Steam platform is the largest digital games distribution service around, but its success lies not only in offering a friendly user interface and largely unobtrusive digital rights management (DRM) restrictions but in providing a range of useful services to developers under a family of application programming interfaces (APIs). One such feature is providing easy gamepad support, used to allow gamers to use both the Steam Controller and third-party devices to play games that otherwise might not support such controllers directly.
For those who make use of said functionality, the latest Steam upgrade will be welcomed. In the company's lengthy changelog
, a range of improvements to the controller functionality are detailed including the first support for configuring Sony's PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Controller using the same interface as the Steam Controller - including the ability to map the pad's trackpad interface and motion-sensing gyroscope to any keyboard, mouse, or x-input action, offering the ability to navigate radial menus with a swipe of your thumb or lean around corners by tilting the pad. For games which include native support for the DualShock 4 controller, developers have the option of disabling the Steam compatibility layer.
The update also brings 'joystick mouse' support, allowing joystick controllers to simulate a mouse device, a global haptic feedback toggle, the ability to change the LED colour and brightness of compatible devices via a configuration option or in-game binding, and the option to mark configurations as 'unique' in such a way that they will only load when a particular user is playing with a particular controller - spelling an end to arguments about favourite configurations on shared computers.
The update also brings the usual range of bug fixes and performance improvements, better support for UI navigation when using the Oculus Touch controllers within SteamVR, higher-bandwidth options for 4K In-Home Streaming, and improvements to Big Picture mode.
Steam will automatically update to the new version when next launched, while the full release notes are available on Valve's official website