I enjoy playing video games. However, I don’t own any modern consoles — the most modern console I own is a GameCube, which was released way back in 2001. That just leaves PC gaming. And sometimes, I enjoy just using a game controller and not having to worry about the user interface and a keyboard and mouse.
The problem is, for some weird reason, not a lot of PC games natively support game controllers. For reference, I have a total of 1,434 games in my Steam library accumulated over the years, and according to Steam, only 289 of them are recognized as having controller support. That’s a lackluster 20.15%, and this is simply the games that Steam reports as having controller support.
And to top it off, there are some games that have a console variant, which means the publisher, at one time, developed all the code and did all the testing to add controller support, but didn’t incliude it in the PC release. What gives? PCs use the same APIs that some consoles (XBOX in particular) use, known as XInput, so why do publishers develop the support for consoles, and then strip it out for PC? It just boggles my mind. And for those of you thinking that maybe the controller support didn’t exist, Microsoft released an adapter for Xbox 360 controllers for PCs several years ago. And a good example of a game where the publisher had controller support on consoles (and specifically, Xbox 360) and still doesn’t on PC even with the inclusion of many patches and downloadable content, look no further than Dragon Age: Origins, published by Electronic Arts in 2009.
So why is controller support on PC important and why should more publishers add it? Well, first off, iot gives PC gamers more options in playing video games. While yes, most PC gamers will use a keyboard and mouse to play games, adding controller support allows gamers to play video games on PC in multiple different additional scenarios, including playing those games on a large screen television, where the gamerr is typically feet away from the screen, instead of the normal inches that a gamer normally sits from a computer monitor. Moving a mouse poiunter on a 50 inch screen from two to three feet away is just something most people do not want to have to do, but being able to play the hottest new games on a large high-definition screen is definitely something that pretty miuch all gamers enjoy being able to do.
So, while yes, adding controller support does require more development, coding, and testing by game developers, it allows for PC gamers to play their games in a larger variety of scenarios, and it’s these additional options. And it’s these options that excite gamers, even on PCs. So while yes, PC gaming may take a backseat to console gaming, it should still be treated as seriously by developers and given the same treatment when it comes to feature support for games.