ITS LONG BEEN a Microsoft ambition to get a computer in the living room, and now the company is making that blurred line a little less blurry.
Yes, you'll soon be able to use a keyboard and mouse with your Xbox One, but rather than bashing out some solid macros in Excel, the additional hardware is purely designed to make it that bit easier to pop opponents' heads open on the battlefield.
The change comes from a little help from gaudy peripheral maker Razer which Microsoft says will help provide the "best possible" experience for the console. If you're happy with an inferior day to day, of course, the company says that "most" USB and wireless kit will work with compatible games.
The phrase "compatible games" is doing a lot of lifting in that sentence: keyboard and mouse support won't be enabled by default, and the company says that compatibility will be added on a "title-by-title basis." The first supported title will be Warframe.
Why not just throw support open for all games? Well, that could create balance problems. If you've ever played a first-person shooter on a gamepad, you'll know that it doesn't offer the degree of precision that a mouse offers. As such, multiplayer games are tricky, and Microsoft doesn't want to create two classes of player on what should be a level playing field. "Fun, fair and correctly balanced" are the keywords for Microsoft in an effort not to break its current ecosystem.
It's a tricky balancing act though: put support everywhere and games become unfair. Put it in too few, and the feature is essentially pointless. Those with long memories may recall that the PS3 had keyboard and mouse support, but so few games included it (Unreal Tournament was one) that barely anyone remembers now. It will be interesting to see how many people remember the Xbox One's keyboard and mouse support in two years' time. µ
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