Microsoft has been teasing keyboard and mouse support for the Xbox One for years now, but it’s finally becoming a reality soon. The software giant has partnered with Razer to enable its Chroma RGB lighting support in Xbox games. Chroma allows players to have an assortment of colors light up on a keyboard, and it’s also useful for spotting ability cooldowns in games like Overwatch. Windows Central reports that Microsoft started briefing developers about the upcoming support earlier this year, and The Verge can confirm the partnership is genuine.
Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that Microsoft and Razer presented their plans at the annual Xfest event for developers earlier this year. Razer is planning to allow game developers to tap into its API to bring Chroma lighting effects to games. If all goes according to plan, Xbox One users will start to make use of this later this year with Microsoft’s fall update for the Xbox.
Xbox gamers will welcome the addition of keyboard and mouse support, but some will question the impact on multiplayer games. Microsoft is allowing developers to detect whether a keyboard or mouse is present on an Xbox One, and games could potentially only match keyboard and mouse users with similarly equipped players. Balancing games will be down to developers, and Microsoft is offering up all the tools required to ensure games can implement the support in a variety of ways.
Microsoft will be supporting a variety of USB mice, including ones with wireless dongles. Bluetooth and custom mouse drivers won’t be supported initially, though. Microsoft is also on new game APIs that will allow developers to detect and block keyboard and mouse accessories like the Xim that currently unfairly mimic controller behavior.