Microsoft Talks Xbox One Keyboard And Mouse Support, Addresses Concerns
Microsoft wants to give developers the freedom to decide.
While the Xbox One does not have an official, Microsoft-approved plan for support keyboard and mouse controls (at least not yet), there are ways to do it. One way is through the use of adapters. Microsoft is apparently aware of this, but the company is not taking action in the case of multiplayer shooters--where keyboard and mouse players would theoretically have an advantage.
The reason? According to Xbox engineering lead Mike Ybarra, Microsoft could block keyboard and mouse setups on console, but won't do it because the company wants to give developers the freedom to operate their games as they see fit. Not only that, but a keyboard and mouse setup can be a helpful solution for players with accessibility considerations.
Developers have the choice to use APIs that detect and not allow these. It’s up to them, but the capability is there. https://t.co/jE97R6oj0c— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) February 18, 2018
We could but there are helpful scenarios with these devices (accessibility for one). Our general approach is to empower the developer to manage their game how they want.— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) February 18, 2018
For a long time now, Microsoft has said it is considering bringing an official keyboard and mouse solution to the Xbox One. In September last year, Ybarra said keyboard and mouse support is "definitely coming" to Xbox One, but he didn't say when or in what form.
Crucially, Ybarra said Microsoft understands the concerns people have about keyboard and mouse users having the upper hand against people using a controller.
"We have to be very smart in how we do that. We'll leave it a lot up to developer choice," Ybarra said at the time. "A lot of people tweet me and say, 'You can't do this because of fairness,' and we understand that. We run two platforms; the Windows platform and the Xbox platform."
Ybarra said one solution is that developers can create systems in their games that allow players to decide if they want to play against people using controllers or a keyboard and mouse setup. In fact, Microsoft's Gears of War 4 supports cross-play between Xbox One and PC, and the company already tested the waters with controller versus keyboard and mouse setup. Xbox One players can choose whether or not they want to play with PC users.
Would you like to see official keyboard and mouse support on Xbox One? Let us know in the comments below!