Xbox One owners have been for a long time asking Microsoft to finally bring support for keyboard and mouse controls, and now that functionality is finally getting closer.
Xbox Director Mike Ybarra revealed during a PAX West panel that the first Xbox One titles that'll include keyboard and mouse support are coming "soon."
Furthermore, he said that Microsoft already has a clear idea on how it plans to approach such control options.
Xbox One Keyboard And Mouse Support Is Happening
One might think that bringing peripheral support to Xbox One is as easy as plugging those accessories into the console, and in theory, it might be, but it's actually quite difficult. Since the Xbox One is a traditionally gamepad-controlled console, its games are specifically developed for corresponding control methods; simply using a keyboard and mouse all of a sudden wouldn't work — the developers would need to retool the game's core control mechanisms entirely to include peripheral support.
Think of it this way: pairing a Wii remote with the Xbox One wouldn't make games suddenly support motion controls, right? You get the idea. This is why Ybarra says that a lot if it will be "up to developer choice."
Microsoft's Approach To Xbox One Peripheral Support
Microsoft will "coach" developers and studios to make sure they add the feature responsibly — because there's a potential for imbalance problems to occur. Should the support be added, multiplayer will be a key concern — gamers who use a mouse and a keyboard might have a leg up over those who play via a GamePad. The first group might be able to maneuver more quickly, for example.
For this reason, Microsoft would prefer that developers offer gamers the choice to play with opponents using the same controllers as them, thus erasing potential disadvantages. It's also quite interesting that this is seemingly a voluntary option, meaning gamers may still be able to play with mouse and keyboard users for the extra challenge. That certainly sets up a thrilling "Team Gamepad vs. Team Mouse and Keyboard' rivalry.
Microsoft says, however, that support won't be mandatory. It'll still depend whether developers would be interested in adding it. The company is simply opening up the functionality.
Some titles have already experimented with keyboard and mouse control support in the past. Gears of War 4, for instance, supports cross-play between PC and Xbox One, so the "gamepad vs. keyboard and mouse" dynamic is already there. The Minecraft Better Together update, similarly, includes some keyboard and mouse functionality.
It remains to be seen how developers approach this soon, but hopefully, they tackle the imbalance issues accordingly.
Do you want your Xbox One to support keyboard and mouse as controllers? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!