With the Xbox Play Anywhere program giving Xbox One and Windows 10 PC users the ability to easily switch between the two systems while playing a game, it’s tempting to stick with an Xbox wireless controller on both platforms. Microsoft’s latest wireless adapter is substantially smaller than its previous model, but a delay pushed back its release into 2018.
Originally available August 8, the new Xbox wireless adapter will only be compatible with Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft boasts that it’s 66 percent smaller than the company’s previous controller dongle. It will still cost $25, but it lacks the older model’s support for Windows 7 and 8.1 devices. Neither are compatible with Xbox 360 controllers.
According to the Microsoft Store, the adapter is now scheduled to release on January 31, 2018. A Micorosft representative confirmed the January release with Windows Central. The date is subject to change and other markets are getting the adapter much sooner. Japan gets the adapter first on August 24. Australia and New Zealand are next in September, followed by the U.S. and Canada in January. Other countries’ launch dates have not been announced.
Up to eight separate Xbox One controllers can be connected to a PC with the adapter at any given time, assuming that you have a display large enough to accommodate that many players — this was also the case with the previous model, however, as was its support for wireless stereo audio.
When your Xbox wireless controller’s battery runs low, you can also make use of the Play & Charge kit to keep playing without any downtime. Unlike the Xbox 360’s controller, the Xbox One switches to a wired connection when plugged in using a USB cable, though you’ll run out of ports pretty quickly if you’re playing with other people.
In the meantime, a $70 “Patrol Tech” controller will release on October 17, featuring a blue color and detailed metal-like markings on either grip. If you prefer a standard controller, you can purchase a bundle with the adapter for $80 as well, or you could customize your own personalized gamepad using the Xbox Design Lab — these controllers start at $80 and allow you to choose a color for the body, back, bumpers, triggers, sticks, and buttons. You can even get a custom engraving.
Update: Adjusted release date and re-worded body to reflect product delay.