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Building a head of steam: 500,000 Steam Controllers sold

The more people use the controller, the more improvements can be made to it, a Valve engineer said.

After around two years of anticipation, Valve's Steam Controller hit the market last November alongside a wave of Steam Machines. Now, around 7 months later, the company has announced that 500,000 of the gamepads have been snapped up.

In a blog post, Steam engineer Jeff Bellinghausen said that, thanks to the controller's popularity, developers are now spending more time to program games to work well with the Steam controller out of the box, citing examples of Dark Souls III and DOOM.

"With every controller that comes online we get the opportunity to get more feedback on how to make the Steam Controller even better," he said, later adding, "We'll continue to add features and functionality going forward."

The controller was launched alongside Alienware's Steam Machine, a PC gaming machine that runs on Valve's own SteamOS. As the name suggests, it's designed specifically for use with the Steam game platform.

Update, June 2 at 11:50 a.m. PT: Ars Technica reports that the 500,000 sales figure includes all of the controllers that were bundled with the various Steam Machines, which means that fewer than 500,000 Steam Machines have been sold over the past seven months.

That doesn't compare very favorably to the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, which sold over a million units on their very first day, and may account for only a very small percent of the total PC gaming market.

Valve is currently holding a 30% off sale on the Steam Controller and Steam Link streaming box.