The Switch Pro Controller is considered by many Switch owners to be the best way to play games on the system. It offers a more traditional control scheme compared to the included pair of Joy-Con, whilst still retaining all of the extra bells and whistles (HD Rumble, gyroscope, accelerometer, and NFC). Of course, its 40-hour battery life is also a big plus too (that’s the longest battery life of any modern controller). It turns out that all these “pros” that the Switch Pro Controller offers has also led to it becoming a popular choice outside of its own home platform.

Valve recently published an interesting blog post diving into statistics related to controller usage via Steam Input (a feature of Steam which allows players to customize their controller layouts). The post contains various tidbits of data,¬†showing what controllers are most popular among the Steam crowd. Interestingly enough, the Switch Pro Controller has garnered a pretty big following here. Valve added native support for the Switch Pro Controller back in May 2017 but has been tracking the usage numbers since the controller launched alongside the Switch earlier that year. According to Valve’s current statistics, nearly 500 thousand Switch Pro Controllers (458, 725 to be exact) have been registered on Steam so far, making it the 7th most-popular option. Last month (August 2018), the Switch Pro Controller actually happened to be the second most used option, coming just behind the Xbox One Controller (which is the most popular controller option on the platform).

Of course, the question is: why is the Switch Pro Controller so popular amongst PC players? Valve didn’t offer a theory, but it could potentially be due to the Switch Pro Controller’s button layout being so close to that of the Xbox One/Xbox 360 design. That makes it a more natural choice over the DualShock 4 and 3. The overall popularity of the Switch itself has also more than likely plays a factor in this as well.

Interestingly, the Switch Pro Controller isn’t the only Nintendo controller in the batch. Valve also highlighted that 129,783 Gamecube controllers have been registered, and also 195,914 SNES controllers. The SNES controllers are likely being used for 2D indie titles, whereas the Gamecube controllers are still relatively¬†good for modern titles (albeit they have fewer buttons than today’s controllers). Even so, GC controllers do have one superior feature over the Pro Controller: actual analog triggers. Hey, Nintendo, would it be okay to bring those back with your next controller?

A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.

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