Xbox Engineering Lead Talks Keyboard, Mouse Support On Xbox One, Says ‘Developers Have The Choice’


Microsoft hasn't officially sanctioned keyboard and mouse support for its line of Xbox One consoles, but there are always workarounds to it. One of those is through the use of adaptors, letting players access more complex control schemes, as they would on a PC.

Microsoft seems to be aware of players who go this route, yet the company is not taking action with regard to multiplayer shooters where keyboard and mouse users have obviously more advantage with controls. Players have asked Microsoft to ban the use of such peripherals because they make certain matches unfair.

Why Microsoft Won't Ban Keyboard And Mouse Support

But according to Mike Ybarra, Xbox's engineering lead, Microsoft could theoretically disable keyboard and mouse support — it won't do that, though. Why? Well, the company wants developers to be able to make that decision themselves. They must make their games compatible with the controls as they see fit. Aside from that, keyboard and mouse setups benefit some players who might have accessibility issues.

It's All About Freedom Of Developers

"Developers have the choice to use APIs that detect and not allow these. It's up to them, but the capability is there," said Ybarra in a tweet. Asked why this sort of freedom is being given to developers, Ybarra said:

"Our general approach is to empower the developer to manage their game how they want."

For a long time, Microsoft has been stating that it plans to give Xbox One proper and official support for keyboard and mouse accessories. In September 2017, Ybarra himself said it's "definitely coming," but failed to say exactly when and how it would work.

As mentioned, the main complaint is the fact that in some matches, those who play with traditional controllers are at a disadvantage against players using a keyboard and a mouse. Ybarra has said that one solution to keep things fair might be for developers to allow controller-matching in games, meaning players have the ability to spar only with opponents who use the same controllers as them, if so they choose. In fact, in Gears of War 4, Xbox One players can opt not to play with PC players.

It's not difficult to see where players are coming from. They just want matches to be fair. But Microsoft's reasoning makes plenty of sense, too. Banning keyboard and mouse support altogether seems like a drastic move. What do you think? Should Microsoft disable this functionality? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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