Steam’s new official controller comes from Hori, arrives this Halloween

Something to look forward to: Hori is known for its high-quality console gamepads and has released PC controllers before, but working directly with Valve on an officially licensed pad is somewhat unexpected. Furthermore, this is the first controller Valve has licensed since discontinuing its Steam controller almost five years ago. However, Hori has only confirmed a Japanese release so far.

Gaming accessory maker Hori has revealed an officially licensed Steam controller set to ship in Japan on October 31. Thus far, only Hori’s Japanese website and social channels mention the pad, but it would be odd for the peripheral to remain a Japan-exclusive.

Similar to newer controllers from other manufacturers, including Microsoft’s and Sony’s high-end models, Hori’s offering will include four extra programmable inputs – two small buttons beneath the D-pad and right analog stick, and two backside pedals. According to a machine translation of the company’s promo images, it also supports gyro and rapid-fire functions.

Moreover, the sticks feature touch sensors that users can customize for various inputs while the triggers can switch between digital and analog modes to better fit different genres like shooters or racing games.

The home button is a dedicated Steam button that launches Big Picture Mode and opens the Steam menu while in-game. Hori also included the Steam Deck’s quick access button, which summons a quick menu in Big Picture Mode while in-game.

Although the controller features Steam input and X-input modes for use outside Valve’s launcher, the gyro, stick touch, and menu buttons are exclusive to the Steam mode. Hori will offer an app enabling users to customize numerous controller functions independently of Steam’s controller configurator. The gamepad supports wired and Bluetooth connections.

Despite being an officially licensed Steam controller, Hori’s product foregoes the trackpads that Valve’s original Steam controller and the Steam Deck use to simulate mouse inputs. Furthermore, Hori doesn’t mention hall-effect joysticks, which are resistant to the drift effect that has plagued recent official console pads.

While announcing its partnership with Hori, Valve provided a detailed update on controller usage on Steam. Currently, about 15 percent of Steam gameplay sessions use a controller – triple the proportion recorded in 2018. Of these, over half use Xbox controllers, a quarter use PlayStation pads, and around one-tenth use the Steam Deck.

Hori’s Steam controller will be available in four colors: black, white, green, and purple on October 31 for 7,980 yen (about $50). Hori’s Japanese site also revealed another set of PC controllers coming later this summer that support DirectInput and X-input but not Steam-specific features. They include a 4,980 yen ($30) traditional pad, a six-button fighting game controller for 6,480 yen ($40), a mini fighting stick for 5,980 yen (about $37), and a new Real Arcade Pro Hayabusa fight stick for 15,980 yen ($100).

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