A PC by any other name: Mouse compatibility is inbound for the Xbox One

XBox One

The advent of streaming games from your Xbox One to Windows 10 PCs has prompted some people to ask whether streaming in the opposite direction might one day be possible. While responding to queries on Twitter, Xbox czar Phil Spencer said that while Windows-to-Xbox streaming is certainly intriguing to him, it’s not in the cards for the foreseeable future while they still work out the particulars of Xbox-to-Windows. However the conversation also brought up the possibility of keyboard and mouse compatibility with the Xbox One, which would be a prerequisite for streaming from Windows. Spencer said intriguingly that those “aren’t far away.” Keyboards already work with Microsoft’s console, so only the mouse would need to be added. (via Engadget)

Modern gaming consoles are essentially just highly specialized, compact PCs when you look under the hood at their system architecture. With its feet firmly planted in the worlds of both personal computing and gaming consoles, Microsoft is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between these two technological ecosystems in a way that its chief competitor in gaming, Sony, would not be able to do. CEO Satya Nadella said basically as much last year in an earnings call when he announced his intention to merge Microsoft’s computing, gaming, and mobile phone platforms with a more unified underlying framework. He described a future of “Universal Windows Apps,” where developers would be able to create a single app that would work on all platforms and be available in a unified Microsoft app store.

The upcoming launch of Windows 10, which was announced with the tagline “One product family, one platform, one store”, is a major step in this direction. Xbox-to-PC streaming is the first piece of this cross-pollination, and adding mouse support to the Xbox One would be a key move in allowing content to flow the other way.