Valve updates Steam Controller with VR support

June 3, 2016 | 11:49

Tags: #game-controller #gamepad #steam-controller #steam-vr #vr

Companies: #steam #valve

Valve has announced a major software upgrade for its Steam Controller gamepad, improving compatibility and adding support for the controller in virtual reality mode.

While the Steam Controller that finally launched was missing some of the more impressive features of the original design - such as the four-quadrant touch-screen in the centre, quickly abandoned presumably due to issues with complexity, cost, and battery life - the device has proven popular. Valve claims to have sold-through more than 500,000 of the devices since launch, and with this latest update it's clearly hoping to boost those figures further.

The controller update brings with it a handful of new features, the biggest of which is support for using the Steam Controller in the VR Game Theatre Mode of Valve's eponymous digital distribution platform. The pad's motion controls can be used in a variety of titles, including as a steering wheel for racing games, the company claims. Additional new features include 'action sets,' for configuring the controller differently depending on whether you are - for example - walking, flying, or driving in a single game, rumble pass-through, and support for using the pad and configuring it via the desktop.

Support has also been enhanced: profiles for new games have been added, while Valve claims the controller now better supports non-Steam games and allows the user to simply add any game to his or her Steam library and create configuration profiles as if it were native. The company has also promised it is working on a further update to add what it calls 'Activators,' allowing buttons to hold multiple configurations triggered depending on whether you press, press-and-hold, or double-tap the control.

The update is available via Steam now.
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