Microsoft and Razer are working on Xbox keyboard and mouse support

Xbox One S
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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.

Razer and Microsoft partnership at Xfest
Windows Central

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.

Comments

For the players

Didn’t PS4 already support Keyboard and Mouse? I always assumed they had support for it.

There are a very small handful of games that support it.

And you can find plenty of threads of people who are salty about mixing controller and KB/M players.

fortnite, for example, has flawless KB/M support on ps4

The main reason I stopped playing fortnite on ps4

But it’s the best place to play!

Is it just some games? Is there wider support on the system such as for Web browsing, form filling etc

Yes, both systems support kb for text input. I’ve honestly never tried a mouse on either though.

the xbox one has always supported all keyboards for text input in the apps and many games. even games that support text chat. however, it doesn’t support keyboards for movement so no WASD. and mouse has never been supported.

With mouse and keyboard support, the Xbox is one step closer to PC functionality, and that’s great. There have been mentions in the past of bringing wider UWP (Microsoft Store apps) support on the Xbox one; can anyone let us know what the latest on running more PC-like apps on the xbox is?
Will this mouse and keyboard support accelerate running these apps?

Honestly. Microsoft should bundle a M&K with the next Xbox Consoles and develop a Switch Competitor to help with their Mobile game efforts.

As Microsoft further merges Windows 10 and Xbox OS with UWP. This really should have Valve concerned.

Smart move

I think this makes more problems than it solves… How many players will be using a keyboard so they’ll get matched together? If there aren’t many players, will keyboard players play with gamepad ones, with an obvious advantage? What will the general usage of the keyboard be (outside of games)? Will you be able to operate the console with a keyboard-mouse combo, like a small HTPC, or will you have to switch between keyboard and gamepad everytime you quit the game?

I think you’re overthinking it. Think about cross-play instead.

Lol, 99% of those aren’t ‘problems’. If you can’t get enough players in the keyboard pool, switch to gamepad. Or use the LFG feature to find players.
Plus cross play also exists.

If it’s a huge advantage then people can go get a keyboard for $10. Most games will likely be optimised for a joystick. Even if they refine the controls you’ll likely find FPS and the like aimed at Xbox only retain the floaty physics often associated with console FPS.

Also, I’m not sure it’s that different to someone today using an elite controller in an FPS or a wheel in racing games. Not everyone is using the same caliber controllers already.

This could be a boon for Microsoft if they play this right. Opens up more genres to their console base…

Bring this M+K combo to living rooms, incentivize PC RTS and MOBA portsand they could sell quite a few consoles to LoL fans, for example. Also will allow Age of Empires and Gears Tactics ports, among others.

Yea, I’m hoping that the announcement was delayed so that they could get adequate support for this. It would be great if they did something like the Adaptive Controller, where they already had a range of 3rd party accessories for it at announce and explained how anyone could get in on that. Hopefully they have more hardware partners than just Razer and they can announce a "launch lineup" of PC ports to go along with this. (Wishful thinking probably, but yea – that would change the conversation because just having KBM support might get a mixed reaction from like.. E3 for example).

This could be a boon for Microsoft if they play this right. Opens up more genres to their console base…

Bring this M+K combo to living rooms, incentivize PC RTS and MOBA portsand they could sell quite a few consoles to LoL fans, for example. Also will allow Age of Empires and Gears Tactics ports, among others.

PC = Master Race. This is too little too late, but I’ll be glad to see more young’ns learn the ways of WASD

You are such a superior human being for chosing a PC as a gaming platform.
My lowly Xbox-playing self bows to your greatness, m’Lord.

holy fuck this

He’s more of an anachronism than anything. The whole PC vs console thing is so 20 years ago.

If you aren’t using K+B you’ll get wrecked.

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