Trump just made wireless controllers more expensive

Steam Controller

Videogame controllers are likely to become more expensive for players in the United States. That’s thanks to President Trump’s recent increase on import tariffs targeting “certain steel and aluminium products,” which came into force on June 1.

The import duty on “cordless infrared remote control devices for video game consoles” rose by 50% in line with the new tariff rulings, along with items such as sunbeds, dishwashers, and garden umbrellas. It’s an eclectic mix of products, and given the relative size of game controllers in comparison to some of those other items, it’s a little odd that they’d have been directly targeted.

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The impact on PC players could potentially be less than for those of you playing on console. The use of mouse and keyboard (and other peripheries) helps, of course, as does a general tendency to use wired controllers rather than wireless (among the PCGamesN writers I surveyed, anyway).

For console players, however, it’s likely to have more of an impact. Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch controllers will likely all be affected by the changes, especially as wireless controllers are more popular on consoles. PC players who use (or at least plan to use) Steam controllers will probably also be affected. The impact on countries other than the US is likely to be minimal, although it’s possible retaliatory tariffs could be tacked on by other countries.