It is a revelation that will most likely be met with both anticipation and dread, depending on which gaming side you’re camping on. Playing with a keyboard and a mouse is coming really, really soon for the Xbox One. For PC gamers more used to those input controls, it is welcome news. For console gamers dreading the feared amalgamation of Microsoft‘s console and PC gaming worlds, it is yet another omen of that future. Of course for Microsoft, it just means being able to play Windows 10 games on any Microsoft-powered device, which ultimately means more profit for the company.
Not all games are created equal, of course. While there are games that work for both console and PC gameplay, they are still designed for a specific control style. Most of the time, that means PC versions of the games are constrained to controls centered around a gamepad. On the flip side, console gamers are practically left out of games that require more buttons and dexterity than a gamepad can offer.
Keyboard and mouse gameplay for the Xbox One turns the tables around. Phil Spencer, who dropped the teaser, says that it opens the console for MOBA type games like League of Legends or DOTA, which make heavy use of keyboards and mice. Whether that means those games will be available for the Xbox One can only really be answered when the feature does arrive. Spencer reveals that keyboard support is actually already working but mouse support still has some work left to be done. “Soon” is perhaps the best way to describe it.
This plays well into Microsoft’s new Xbox Play Anywhere thrust, which lets gamers play a title on both Xbox or PC as long as the game is part of that program. It is also something that some gamers and developers on either side of the fence are a bit apprehensive about, for many reasons. One of those is the requirement to use the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which some PC game developers, like the high-profile Tim Sweeney from Epic Games, have spoken up against.