Bringing full mouse and keyboard support to Microsoft’s home console has been a contentious topic for a while now among gamers and industry analysts. While there are already some games that allow for it (basically just Minecraft), new information in conjunction with leaked documents point at a major partnership between Xbox and Razor that is already in the works. Redmond has been teasing complete seamless mouse and keyboard support on Xbox One for what feels like years at this point, and it looks like it might finally be on the way.
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According to reports, Microsoft and Razor have already shown off plans for bringing much deeper mouse and keyboard support to Xbox One. The two companies took the stage at the annual Xfest a few months back where we caught a glimpse of how Razor’s Chroma RGB lighting and more will be coming to Microsoft’s home console. Apparently, Razor will be allowing game developers to access its Chroma lighting effects API in order to implement custom setups for console games.
We also have a nice look at some of the visuals shown during the aforementioned presentation. As you can see, the Razor Turret keyboard mouse combo which is lap-friendly for the living room, was shown off by Microsoft at Xfest.
Considering how long this has been in play for developers, rumors that gamers will start to see this stuff come available during a fall Xbox update might actually ring true.
Having said that, bringing mouse and keyboard control to one of the most popular online console gaming communities could present issues. As you might know, keyboard and mouse players can be very serious/precise, and tend have an inherent edge over your average gamer with an Xbox gamepad in competitive scenarios. While developers will certainly be able to balance these kinds of things, it could split the online player numbers significantly. Some titles will more than likely have to force like-input gamers in to the same online matches.
Nevertheless, Microsoft is providing everything needed to AAA game developers to make it happen properly. For example, developers will be able to detect what input device a particular player is using and adjust the game/match-making/etc. accordingly.
Custom driver and Bluetooth enabled devices won’t be supported from the get-go, but every other wired and wireless mouse (with a USB dongle) that works on Windows will be supported.
While none of this set in stone and might never see the light of day, the sources are quite credible and it wouldn’t be all that surprising of a move. While it certainly seems like this should have happened years ago, if developers can manage the new input devices properly, this could be a very smart play on Redmond’s part. It will most likely mean an influx of new mouse and keyboard PC games getting ported to the platform and maybe even the gamers that play them.