Here at Ars, we’re old enough to remember when Microsoft first claimed that full support for keyboard/mouse controls on Xbox One was “months away.” (That was over 27 months ago, for those still keeping track.)
In any case, Microsoft has announced via a Tuesday blog post that the long-promised mouse and keyboard support will finally be rolling out for Xbox Insider members “in the coming weeks.
Microsoft’s description of the features bears a striking resemblance to the details shared in a recent developer presentation which leaked back in June. That includes a partnership with Razer to promote the feature and the fact that mouse and keyboard support on Xbox One will remain very much optional for developers.
“Developers can now build mouse and keyboard support in their games if and how they choose,” Microsoft writes. “It’s important to note that mouse and keyboard support for games is added on a title-by-title basis, entirely at developers’ discretion.”
Microsoft explicitly mentions as “one of the first titles testing mouse and keyboard input.” That’s a bit surprising considering that Microsoft has already gone to pains to test matches pitting controller-bound Xbox One players against PC-based mouse-and-keyboard players in . That early testing resulted in “closely matched” battles, according to Microsoft, leading to cross-platform play for the game to be rolled out permanently.
While some developers will no doubt welcome this new world of control options on console, developer Epic Games has already stated that it is taking action to segregate mouse and keyboard players who currently use third-party adapters to get the control scheme working on consoles. developer Jeff Kaplan, on the other hand, took a slightly different take on the subject. Last year he said that he wanted console makers to fight those adapters by “openly and easily support[ing] mouse and keyboard for all players.”