It has been quite some time since Microsoft said that it is working on a keyboard and mouse for Xbox One. To be precise, the company announced it a month before the Xbox One even launched in 2013.
More recently, Xbox director Mike Ybarra confirmed that the gaming console will soon be getting keyboard and mouse support, but hasn’t given any specific timeline. He did not get into the details of the specifications either, only broadly stating that developers will be given the choice to implement support in their own games.
He further said that he understands the concerns people have been raising about keyboard and mouse support, which he clarified saying that the company would coach developers and make sure the players are given the choice, in competitive games, of whether they play against users with controllers or those with keyboards.
In simple words, in games that involve player competition, the user will be given a choice of playing against others with similar peripherals. We assume that means you can choose to either play against another user using the same controls, or you choose to remove any such restrictions so you get matched with anyone.
The first titled games supporting a keyboard and mouse will be coming soon, and Ybarra once again iterated that it’s hard to specify an exact time, but that it would be soon.
Ybarra also said that his team has been smartly working on the implementation front, leaving a lot to developer choice.
“A lot of people, they tweet me and say “you can’t do this because of fairness,” and we understand that. We run two platforms: the Windows platform and the Xbox platform. And so, when we bring keyboard and mouse, we’ll coach developers to say: “Look, you’ve got to think about your multiplayer pools.” If you have a competitive game, people probably are going to want the choice to say “I’ll play with other keyboard and mouse people,” “I’ll play with only controller people,” or “you know what, I’ll play with any of those.”
Microsoft is already testing out the controller versus keyboard and mouse combination – Gears of War 4 already supports cross-play across Xbox One and PC.