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Steam update offers more 4K streaming options, PS4 controller support

Valve Software released a major update to the Steam client this week packing lots of new features and improvements. Two of the most notable additions include support for the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller and more bandwidth options for streaming 4K content via Steam’s In-Home Streaming feature. The client is also now optimized for the new Oculus Touch controller, providing improved navigation when using the Steam dashboard.

“We have recently updated our Privacy Policy to comply with the Privacy Shield Framework as agreed to by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission,” Valve states in the release. “The Privacy Policy notes our compliance with Privacy Shield and provides contact information in the event customers have questions regarding our privacy practices.”

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Adding to the In-Home Streaming front, Valve says that the client will now automatically restart if it crashes while streaming a game. There is also now support for personalizing the Steam Controller while streaming a game and support for NvFBC when using the latest driver from Nvidia. This is a capture path that grabs a finished frame rendered by the graphics chip and sends it to the video card’s onboard video encoder without DirectX or OpenGL involvement.

The update fixes two bugs related to In-Game Streaming as well as two problems with Big Picture. Other fixes include squashing a bug that caused the MacOS client to freeze when generating internal error reports and fixing a bug for the Linux version that caused filesystems to report “abnormally large” sector sizes. General Steam fixes include an issue that caused malformed music album images and an issue that provided incorrect game names in the friends’ list when using third-party mods.

There is also good news for participants in the Windows Insider program. The updated client now provides overlay support for 64-bit games running on preview builds. Other overlay-related changes and fixes include adding access to the music settings page in the Settings dialog and fixing an issue that caused multiple browser tabs to open when clicking “certain types” of links.

The biggest portion of the release notes is dedicated to controllers. The list is rather lengthy outside adding support for the PS4 controller, such as the addition of the joystick-mouse mode for stick-based controllers. The configuration browser can also now be toggled to list all available controller types rather than just the current in-use device.

Here are a few more controller-based changes in the new Steam client:

  • Added controller preference setting for haptics. Haptics can now be globally disabled for a controller or default to the configuration preferences.
  • Added support for LED Color setting. Controllers which are capable of setting an LED color can now set this in controller personalization.
  • Added LED Brightness/Color controller action binding. The light on the controller can now be changed via a binding. This is useful to mark changes in state such as different action sets or mode shifts, or on start/release press activators for changing while a button is pressed, for example. Light settings are reset to user preference when changing applications/configurations.
  • Added software calibration for non-Steam controller based IMUs to counter for gyro drift.
  • Modes and bindings which are unavailable to desktop and Big Picture modes will no longer be shown in the configurator.

The full release notes for the latest version of Steam can be found here.