Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed in a recent interview during E3 2016 that official support for a mouse and keyboard is coming to the Xbox One console. The development kit actually supports keyboards now, and mouse support is reportedly on the way. He doesn’t provide an exact launch window for either peripheral because it’s unknown at this point, but he’s confident that both will be publicly supported on the console in the coming months.
That, of course, seemingly shoots down any possibility that mouse and keyboard support on the Xbox One will be provided in the Anniversary Update slated to roll out on July 29. As it stands now, this massive update will bring Cortana to Microsoft’s console along with support for UWP apps that work across all Windows 10-based devices, the ability to share screenshots on Twitter, better connectivity between console and Windows 10 PC gamers, and more.
It’s no secret that Microsoft is trying to merge its Xbox One and Windows 10 gaming audience. A perfect example is the company’s just-revealed Play Anywhere initiative. This initiative essentially allows a customer to purchase a game on Xbox One and have the ability to download, install, and play the same game on a Windows 10 PC without having to purchase a second copy. Thus, there’s no additional cost, and game progress goes wherever the customer goes.
Unfortunately, Play Everywhere isn’t meant for every game, and Phil Spencer acknowledges this in the interview. “Trying to take League and play it with a controller… or Dota… I don’t know, maybe a designer’s going to try and tackle that problem, but those seem like natural PC games to me,” he said. “And I think that’s fine, and in that scenario you can still be an Xbox Live game and still be connected to all your friends, your save game can still flow with you from PC to PC.”
That’s how the whole subject of keyboard and mouse support on the Xbox One came up. He said that once those two peripherals will be enabled on the console, it will be interesting to see what the developers behind those mouse-only PC games will think about running their popular titles on the Xbox One. The Play Anywhere initiative could possibly bring in extra revenue to those developers.
Hints of keyboard and mouse support for the Xbox One have been around since before the console hit store shelves. Larry Hyrb indicated back in 2013 that support would possibly arrive after the Xbox One went retail, but couldn’t make an official confirmation at that time. Microsoft was currently shopping the Xbox One around to businesses as a computing option given it’s capable of video conferencing (Skype), Office Web Apps document storage (OneDrive), web browsing (Edge), and so on.