The Xbox One is getting a huge new feature that gamers have wanted forever

The Xbox One is getting a huge new feature that gamers have wanted forever

couch gaming with keyboard mouse

YouTube/Hardware Unboxed

Wondering what it might look like using a mouse and keyboard with a home game console? Here's just one example.

  • The Xbox One is getting a long-requested feature: The ability to play games using a mouse and keyboard.
  • Not all games will support mouse/keyboard controls, and it's not clear if games that do will allow gamepad players to compete with mouse/keyboard players.
  • In taking this step, Microsoft is allowing developers to implement support for keyboard and mouse controls if they so wish - it's not required.

The promise of home video game consoles has always been one of convenience. Plug the console in to the wall, then to the TV, and turn it on - video games!

But there's a whole subset of gamers who are willing to sacrifice a bit of that convenience for more control: PC gamers are the type of folks who are happy to trade an easy-to-use gamepad for a cumbersome, albeit more precise, keyboard and mouse setup.

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So the logic goes: Using a mouse to aim is far more accurate than using a thumbstick, and using a keyboard enables far more options than the few buttons on a standard gamepad. 


Xbox One S

Florence Fu/Tech Insider

The Xbox One S console with matching Xbox One gamepad. The Xbox One gamepad is considered the standard bearer for console gamepads.

As such, some folks are going to be especially excited to hear that Microsoft is adding full-on keyboard and mouse support - on a system level - to the Xbox One family of game consoles. 

What that means for the tens of millions of Xbox One owners in practical use is that some Xbox One games will offer support for keyboard and mouse controls. To be all the way clear: Xbox One gamepads will still be the default control method for all Xbox One games.

Microsoft is careful about this distinction in its announcement. "Mouse and keyboard support for games is added on a title-by-title basis, entirely at developers' discretion," the post on Xbox Newswire reads. "Mouse and keyboard input is not enabled by default for games." 

The first such game to offer support is "Warframe," a free-to-play third-person shooter; no other games have announced support thus far, but there are plenty that make sense.

Will your favorite keyboard and mouse be supported? That remains to be seen. Microsoft says that, "most wired or wireless USB keyboards and mice will work." Additionally, the company is partnering with gaming peripheral maker Razer to create something purpose-built for use with the Xbox One - presumably something with a couch in mind, as opposed to a traditional desk setup for PC gaming.


We've yet to see what this new setup looks like, but Razer teased it in a brief clip on Twitter:

Some Xbox One users will see keyboard and mouse support as soon as a few weeks from now, with a wider rollout scheduled for further down the line. Support will roll out in upcoming Xbox One system updates.

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