PC controllers are nothing new to PC gaming; however, there are several new choices coming out that may pull people away from using the standard Xbox 360 PC controller. For this past generation game devs have used this controller as the basic template for any game on PC using a controller function as opposed to the mouse and keyboard route. So what new choices do we have?
According to the PlayStation North American blog, “…you can connect a DUALSHOCK 4 controller to your PC using USB, and it will support basic functions. In regards to DUALSHOCK 4 supporting full compatibility for playing PC games, there are no details to share at this time.” I’m not sure what that entails but I am guessing that means all normal controller functions (analog, digital and possible rumble) but not the new touch screen control.
Using a PlayStation controller isn’t a first. It takes some looking into but there is a driver for it, but it was not the simple plug and play function we desire and I don’t recommend the hassle in looking into it.
I have yet to try this controller out in person; however, there are reviews you can seek out. All in all it sounds like it is an improvement over the PS3 DualShock controller and you have two bonuses with this controller. It also works with a Mac and the PlayStation 3.
RETAIL PRICE: US $59.99
When you hear PC gaming Steam is the King of online distribution for PC gaming. Indie devs love it along with consumers and with their “Steam Sales” everyone is a winner…but can they do hardware? Answer: They better.
Nobody is going to hurt if they do not make a controller and it is pretty sweet that they are going at it and in pure Valve fashion: differently than anyone else. We’ve pretty much had the same button layout for, what, twenty plus years now? There have been variations over the years but the Valve approach? Put the side buttons around the center of the controller (which is a high-resolution touch screen) and replace them with dual track pads. Valve is trying to perfectly replicate the mouse and keyboard experience with the controller.
This controller might be a little off putting just by looking at it and there are videos of it in action. At the time of this writing there has been no retail price on it but don’t feel about if you’re a little shaky on going forward with this one. This is Valves first time out and there is no release date as of yet.
A new Xbox means a new controller and…it’s not going to work with the PC…yet. In an article by Kotaku, “…a Microsoft spokesperson said, in an e-mailed statement, that there is some work that we need to do to make sure that existing PC games that support the Xbox 360 controller will work with the Xbox One controller.” That time frame — 2014? That could be January or September of next year but regardless it should have been a day one deal. This is a win for Sony but keep in mind the Xbox 360 controller is still the lead controller in this field — I think that is a fair assumption.
No doubt you’ll be able to find some Logitech and other controllers for about twenty bucks online or at brick and mortar store (those still exist right I’m told) so that is always an option.
Now I am not quite sure whom I would recommend. In a way, I am leaning towards the PS4 controller since I prefer their controller to the Xbox, but the current Xbox PC controller is a little cheaper. If I had to choose right now, I would go with the PS4 controller, especially since I do not need to use a Bluetooth dongle to use the standard USB hook up. That might be an option but not one I am worried about. I’m used to being hooked up with cables for gaming, I’m old now people! It’s a cute little way to remember where I came from.