Microsoft is making some big changes, allowing developers to further bridge the gap that separates console gaming from PC gaming. As the line that divides the two continues to blur, one of the most imminently significant changes could be the implementation of keyboard and mouse support on Xbox One and, we assume, Project Scorpio.
Microsoft's senior program manager Andrew Parsons took to the Build 2017 stage recently to give developers an idea of what kind of Windows 10 / PC features could work well on Xbox. Parsons noted on stage that "at least two" developers had asked him specifically about keyboard support on Xbox One, and noted that the Xbox Live Creators Program would give developers the ability to enable keyboard support for their games.
The topic of mouse integration came up as well. Microsoft engineer James Yarrow noted in his presentation that mouse integration "probably won't work." However, Parsons followed up with Digital Trends after they reached out and clarified that a handful of mice would be compatible with Xbox, and Microsoft hopes to add support for most mice over time.
This is either really great news for you, or terrible news for you. It's commonly held that mouse and keyboard controls are more intuitive and accurate than controllers. While it'd be nice to have a keyboard and mouse for a game like Halo Wars 2 on Xbox, it would suck to go up against a team using keyboards and mice in a game like Halo or Call of Duty: WWII. I think that most players would argue that mouse and keyboard controls would give players an unfair advantage in competitive games, but then it's always up to the developers in the end to enable or disable that option.
One thing is for certain, though. Following the implementation of UWP (Universal Windows Platform) and the release of several "Play Anywhere" games like Gears of War 4 and Killer Instinct, Microsoft is more committed than ever to bring the worlds of PC gaming and console gaming together. Keyboard and mouse implementation may seem like a big deal to us, but it's just one stepping-stone of many for Microsoft. What's next?