The CVP of Xbox and Windows gaming at Microsoft, Mike Ybarra, has confirmed that Xbox One will soon receive support for keyboard and mouse but it will also depend on individual developers — whether or not they want that functionality for their game.
Talking at PAX West, Mike Ybarra said that although support for keyboard and mouse is ‘definitely’ coming to Xbox, whether or not to grant the support in any particular game will be at the developer’s discretion.
“Keyboard and Mouse support are definitely coming. We have to be smart about how we do that. We’ll leave it a lot to the developer choice,” Mike Ybarra said during a panel discussion at PAX.
So a lot of people they tweet me and they say that you can’t do this because of fairness; and we understand that we run two platforms — Windows and Xbox. So, when we bring keyboard and mouse we’ll coach developers.”
“Say you need to take a look at your multi-player pools. If you have a competitive game, people probably are going to want to have a choice to say, I’ll play with other keyboard and mouse people, I’ll play with only controller people, or I’ll play with any of those.”
“So you’ll see our first games supporting keyboard and mouse soon. I can’t announce when that is, but soon. And based on developer interest, they’ll choose to do keyboard and mouse going forward, or not,” Ybarra concluded.
While this has been a long overdue update from Microsoft as many games play better with mouse and keyboard. Take for example Microsoft’s own Age of Empires which has just received a revamp can only be played efficiently using a mouse and keyboard or console.
Microsoft and Sony are also rumored to be in talks to enable cross play for their consoles — which means that gamers will be able to compete with one another immaterial of whether they’re playing that game on Xbox or PlayStation and this will result in a more competitive gaming scene.
However, if cross-play is enabled, it’ll still unclear how the two companies are going to manage their paid subscriptions.
Another thing to note would be what will the two companies do about the Xbox and PlayStation-exclusive games? Will they enable cross play in them and do away with the exclusive tags or not is a thought for the future.