Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless platform is coming to PCs, starting with a Lenovo model

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Xbox Wire Editor in Chief Will Tuttle said on Tuesday that the Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube desktop computer will include built-in support for Xbox Wireless peripherals. That means owners can scoop up a new Xbox One controller and play PC games or steam an Xbox One console to Windows 10 without needing to tether the controller or plug in a wireless dongle. Lenovo is the first official Microsoft partner to provide built-in support for Xbox Wireless devices.

According to Tuttle, the IdeaCentre Y710 Cube integrates the Xbox Wireless adapter accessory into the actual chassis. However, in the future, Xbox Wireless connectivity will become a component on motherboards provided by Microsoft’s partners. This should be great not only for Microsoft, but for third-party controller makers who won’t need to provide an included wireless dongle.

Microsoft is currently working with a number of third-party peripheral manufacturers to produce devices that support Xbox Wireless. These include Astro, HyperX, Lenovo, Mad Catz, PDP, Plantronics, Razer, SteelSeries, and Turtle Beach. The new Rock Band Wireless Fender Jaguar Guitar Controller provided in the Rock Band Rivals Band Kit is one of the resulting products. It connects to the Xbox One console without the need for a USB cable or wireless adapter. All devices that support Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless platform will display the official logo on the packaging.

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube is just one of many gaming desktops Lenovo revealed on Tuesday. One model will launch this month while a VR-ready version will hit the market in September. Both sport a built-in carry handle so that PC gamers can easily take this cubed beast to local area network parties and tournaments. Seemingly ripped out of Battlestar Galactica, they’ll feature support for up to a sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, up to a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 or AMD Radeon RX 460 graphics card, and up to 32GB of DDR4 system memory.

According to Lenovo, the Xbox Wireless component built into the Y710 Cube chassis is an optional feature, so right now there’s no telling how much this convenience will cost during the configuration process. Both the Y710 Cube and the upcoming VR edition will have other cool options like Killer DoubleShot Pro Wi-Fi networking, Dolby Audio, up to 2TB on a hard drive, and up to 256GB on an SSD. Peripherals can be bundled with these two gaming rigs, too.

Microsoft’s most recent Xbox One controllers come packed with Bluetooth support. Adding Xbox Wireless support to desktops addresses problems with older Xbox One controllers and those from third-party manufacturers who chose not to integrate a Bluetooth component. Xbox Wireless is based on a proprietary communication protocol by Microsoft, preventing Windows 10 desktop makers from enabling support through third-party software.

With integrated Xbox Wireless, Windows 10 PCs will be able to support up to eight compatible controllers connected simultaneously. They will also support up to four controllers with chat headsets attached, and up to two controllers with the Xbox Stereo headset attached. Needless to say, you’ll need to ditch those headsets if you have more than two gamers huddled around the PC.


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