Xbox Live Creators Program will allow support for keyboard input on Xbox One

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At GDC 2017, Microsoft announced the Xbox Live Creators Program, an initiative designed to make it easier for developers to release games with Xbox Live functionality across Windows 10 and the Xbox One. At Build 2017, the company offered up some more details regarding what kind of Windows features can be enabled on the Xbox One as a result of the program.

Andrew Parsons, Microsoft’s senior program manager for game developers, took to the stage on day one of the Build conference for a session titled “State of play: Modern game development.” He noted that the Xbox Live Creators Program will give developers the ability to enable all Windows features on the Xbox One, including full keyboard support.

Parsons noted that “at least two” developers had asked him about the possibility of implementing keyboard support via the program in the past week, which is why he made sure to include this information in his presentation. This functionality could offer huge benefits to certain sectors of the development community, especially studios that specialize in genres that tend to rely on keyboard control schemes, like real-time strategy games.

The debate as to whether keyboard and mouse or a dedicated controller provides a better gaming experience has raged on among players for decades. Historically, it hasn’t been easy to give console gamers a method of opting for keyboard and mouse control schemes, so the Xbox Live Creators Program could prove to be an effective and efficient method of giving gamers and developers alike the best of both worlds.

However, there is one major obstacle that could complicate the process of offering keyboard and mouse support on the Xbox One. Microsoft engineer James Yarrow, who also took part in yesterday’s session, noted that support for mice “probably won’t work.”

Digital Trends clarified this comment with Parsons following the presentation, and he stated that initially, most models of mice won’t be compatible. However, a handful of mice will be, and Microsoft hopes to add support for all mice over time.