Keyboard Support Coming to Xbox One

/ 2 years ago

Keyboard Support Coming to Xbox One

Last Year, Xbox Chief Phil Spencer promised that keyboard and mouse support for Xbox One was “not years away, it’s more like months away.” We are still waiting, but maybe not for long, at least as far as keyboards are concerned. Microsoft has confirmed that keyboard support is coming to the console via UWP and Xbox Live Creators Program. The Redmond company made the announcement at a recent technical presentation at its Build conference.

Andrew Parsons, Microsoft’s Senior Program Manager for Game Developers, said:

“I’ve actually spoken to two developers in the last week that have actually expressed interest in implementing keyboard support on the console. They’ve got games they’ve published on Windows and they want to publish on console, but the game kind of needs chat, or kind of needs the ability to type in a bunch of text.”

Xbox One and UWP

Last Year, Microsoft unveiled its initiative to unify Windows PCs with Xbox consoles. The result, Universal Windows Platform (UWP), has seen the creation of software, games, and apps to run on both Windows 10 and Xbox One.

Microsoft has been accused of using UWP to create its own ‘walled garden,” much like Apple’s oft-criticised confined ecosystem. Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney has called UWP “the most aggressive move Microsoft has ever made.”

Xbox as PC

The Xbox has been trying to strafe the line between console and PC over all three of its generations. After all, the first iteration did begin life as the DirectX Box. DirectX, of course, is Microsoft’s PC graphics API. The Xbox started life as a Windows PC hidden inside a console case. As the platform developed, the Windows OS was dropped and the hardware leant more towards a traditional console. Microsoft’s intent, though, remains.

Keyboard Support Coming to Xbox One

When is Xbox One Getting Mouse Support

While Microsoft continues to work on mouse compatibility for Xbox One, you shouldn’t expect support anytime soon. James Yarrow of the Xbox Advanced Technologies Group said:

“Keyboard… that’s absolutely supported, develop your interesting keyboard console apps, that’s fantastic. But don’t be reliant on mouse input because it probably won’t work, and so if you need a mouse to get past your main menu, you probably won’t be able to play your game.”

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