Xbox One keyboard and mouse support teased as PCs and consoles draw closer together

Pretty soon you'll be able to run circles around your controller-centric friends on the Xbox One thanks to keyboard and mouse support.

Microsoft’s been teasing eventual keyboard and mouse (KB&M) support for Xbox One gaming since last June when Xbox chief Phil Spencer hinted at it on Twitter. Spencer didn’t say when the feature will roll out, but now we know the feature will roll out relatively soon, though not imminently.

Speaking to PC GamesN at E3, Spencer said keyboard and mouse support for the Xbox One was “likely months away.” Spencer said keyboard support already works in the Xbox’s developer kit modes while mouse support isn’t quite there yet. Spencer added that there’s no exact release date, but “months away” sounds like it will come this year or, at the very latest, early 2017.

Spencer’s comments about keyboard and mouse gaming come just as Microsoft announced the Xbox’s Play Anywhere program—a code name for universal Windows apps—that makes ubiquitous cross-platform PC and Xbox play a reality. Many upcoming Xbox games from Microsoft Studios, and a smattering of third-party developers, will support Play Anywhere, which unlocks purchased games on both Windows 10 and Xbox One, complete with cross-platform multiplayer support and cloud saves that follow you from device to device.

The story behind the story: Forget about the consolization of the PC, Microsoft’s latest moves suggest the beginning of the ‘PC-ification’ of the Xbox. Even the next-gen Project Scorpio Xbox console sounds like a PC in a console shell, capable of 4K gaming and running VR. Oh, and the Xbox One will soon run Windows 10, too.

With all these walls between the two platforms crumbling, adding keyboard and mouse support to the Xbox One will be a big step towards equality. Spencer even mused that popular e-sports games like League of Legends could potentially wind up on consoles once keyboard and mouse support rolls out.

But for all this newfound unity, Halo 5 still won't be coming to PCs. Bummer.

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Ian Paul

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