There’s a long list of advantages PC gaming has over console gaming, but that list is set to get one shorter soon with the addition of keyboard and mouse controls to the Xbox One family of consoles.
A (sadly now deleted) blog post on Microsoft’s Polish blog indicated that support for the control method of choice for PC gamers would be coming to the console soon, leading to an (and we should stress, this is their words, not ours) “Xbox Master Race”. With the post now removed however, it’s been impossible for us to verify the wording of this ourselves.
We’ve known mouse and keyboard support were coming to the console for a while. Mike Ybarra confirmed as much at PAX West earlier this year, and Phil Spencer has said that support is coming on a couple of occasions.
We recently saw that plugging a keyboard into the console could be used to open a secret options menu on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which is in line with previous comments made by Spencer about keyboards currently working but mouse support taking more time.
The Xbox One won’t be the first console to get keyboard and mouse support. The Dreamcast supported the use of them with various games including Quake III Arena, and you could use them to play Unreal Tournament 3 on the PS3.
However in the past, the usefulness of keyboard and mouse on consoles has been limited since so few people bothered to hook them up. You could play against people using traditional controllers, but the unfair advantage gained would make games far too easy.
That’s all changed with the advent of crossplay between the PC and Xbox One. Theoretically this would allow keyboard and mouse players on a console to play against PC players, and benefit from a level playing field.
The time has never been better to bring the control scheme to consoles, now the developers of the games themselves just need to implement support that makes them worth using.