With Windows 10, Microsoft is making a concerted effort to unify their platforms. Universal apps,Xbox One to PC game streaming, Xbox 360 game streaming, Game DVR functionality, and a host of other features and tweaks to make the Windows experience more seamless across various devices. I’ve always seen the potential for PC to Xbox One streaming, but for that Microsoft would need to implement full keyboard and mouse support. Well guess what gamers? Xbox head Phil Spencer today said that exact support isn’t far away.
@lgriao @PNF4LYFE @Tak225Th Yep, keyboard and mouse support for Xbox would need to be there for this to work, those aren’t far away.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) July 21, 2015
I have fond memories from fifteen years ago, fragging fools on the Dreamcast version of Quake III Arena with my trusty keyboard and mouse (plus I got to play Typing of the Dead!). Those poor controller-touting players just didn’t stand a chance. So the remote possibility of playing this year’s Call of Duty installment with a high-DPI mouse and keyboard on something comfortable likeCorsair’s upcoming “Lapdog?” That’s pretty exciting.
While this is obviously a move to bring Windows 10 PCs and the Xbox One closer together than even before, it’s not just a move that benefits gamers. Microsoft could attract more PC-centric developers to their console platform, specifically those of the MMO variety. This could also open the door to more titles becoming cross-platform (simultaneous players on both Xbox One and PC) and even — dare I say it — an influx of MOBAs to the Xbox One?
There’s a downside to this as well: pushback from gamers who are plenty comfortable with their controller, thank you very much, and don’t want WASD warriors having an unfair advantage in multiplayer battles. That’s a fair complaint, and it should be interesting to see to what extent Microsoft implements this keyboard and mouse support. (Keyboard use is already possible in the Xbox One OS, but the addition of a mouse changes everything.)
And we can’t rule out the simplest outcome based on Spencer’s tweet: That keyboard and mouse support may only be used for PC titles being streamed in to the Xbox One, and nothing more. That’s a feature Microsoft hasn’t announced yet, but it makes sense.
My gut tells me we’ll hear more about this at the annual Gamescom conference in Cologne, Germany next month.