Microsoft has been trying to fuse its PC background with its Xbox brand for quite some time. It’s a big part of why the Play Anywhere initiative exists. Today, the software giant made another big step in bringing the two together. As a result of fan feedback, Microsoft is adding keyboard and mouse support to the Xbox One. It is coming first to select Xbox Insiders at some point in the next few weeks with no word of a wider release date.
As Microsoft stated in its News Wire, developers can add mouse and keyboard support to their games since it is an input on the system level. Microsoft stressed that it was up to the developers to make the right experience for their games as they see fit, meaning it is completely optional. It is not even enabled by default in all games. Warframe will also be the first title to support it.
Most wired and wireless mice and keyboards will work on the Xbox One. However, Microsoft is also partnering with Razer to “bring you the best possible mouse and keyboard experience for this new functionality.” It’s vague but could possibly mean that Razer is helping oversee and make sure that the mouse and keyboard support is going smoothly and encompasses multiple different setups.
Balance is a key component in this rollout since keyboard and mouse controls have obvious advantages over controllers. To combat this, Microsoft said it is working with big and small studios to ensure experiences are “fun, fair, and correctly balanced.” This could mean that some games will allow players to filter what setup their opponents have. Some cross-platform game like Rocket League allow players to do almost exactly this.
The Xbox Insider episode on November 10 will have more information on this topic including other games that will support this feature as well as more details on what the Razer partnership means.