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Microsoft is bringing Mouse & Keyboard Support to the Xbox One

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Microsoft is working on enabling full mouse and keyboard functionality for their Xbox One gaming consoles. Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management for Xbox Platform, revealed the ambitious goal on the Xbox Wire, the official Xbox news blog. Ronald further announced that Microsoft has partnered up with gaming peripheral company Razor in creating a whole new line of gaming mice and keyboards, in line with the newly unveiled initiative.

Gaming on consoles has traditionally entailed a very distinct and different experience compared to playing games on computers. Comfy couch gaming, as the console gaming experience has been lovingly nicknamed by console gamers, has been as much of a pillar to console gaming as blowing into cartridges or swiping optical discs clean. Times are a changing however, and the internal hardware parts are not the only things which evolved throughout the years. Modern consoles have forgone exotic hardware architectures in favor of cost-efficient off-the-shelves parts. Naturally, these parts are more common in the PC hardware segment, which led to the current console generation basically becoming custom-tailored PCs.

It’s not only the hardware side of things which is very different today than in the past. Even online gaming is going through some major changes, since its widespread inception in the console scene during the Xbox and PS2 era. Topics like cross-play are forcing platform holders to change decade-old policies and adapt to modern audiences’ expectations.

The lines between systems is blurring more and more, and as such, what once was unthinkable on consoles is slowly becoming the norm. Console players have been using third-party tools to use mouse and keyboards for a long time but what Microsoft is trying to achieve here, is a whole ‘nother level.

Microsoft is aiming to implement mouse and keyboard functionality at a system level, allowing pretty much every game to utilize the “new” input method. Discussions, whether gamepads or mouse & keyboard are superior controlling methods, are as old as gaming, and indeed there is justified concern with regard to game balancing. The mouse is inherently a faster and more precise device than a thumbstick. As such, Microsoft as opted to leave the decision to enable mouse and keyboard support to game developers.

Warframe will be the first title on the Xbox One to allow mouse and keyboard controls in an update soon. If you want to test the new feature out for yourself, you need to opt into the Xbox Insider program here.
 
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