The Surface tablets will support wired versions of the Xbox 360 controller.
DigitalTrends reports that Microsoft's upcoming Surface tablet will support wired Xbox 360 controllers, and may even be compatible with the company's motion-sensing controller, Kinect. The news arrives by way of a recent "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit featuring Surface general manager Panos Panay.
"We used the 360 USB controllers to play with Surface all the time and they work great. We have not tried Kinect yet," Panay responded when asked if Surface supports Kinect and/or 360 USB controller inputs.
This tidbit of news indicates that the Surface tablet could be compatible with most Xbox 360 and Windows-friendly 1st-party devices. The team even boasted that Surface will support printers, keyboards, cameras – hundreds of millions of existing USB devices. It can even charge a smartphone, they said.
"The full size USB 2.0 port on Surface supports hundreds of millions of devices that are out there," said hardware lead Pavan Davuluri. "We chose USB 2.0 based on capability of the ARM SoCs during our development timeframe."
As for plugging in Kinect, the tablet will more likely support Kinect for Windows in the future. The PC version just received an update to the runtime and SDK back on October 8 that adds support for Windows 8 desktop applications – those designed to run within the Desktop environment and not the touchy Modern UI interface. But just as the popular motion-sensing device eventually migrated over to the PC platform, Microsoft will undoubtedly add support for a tablet environment in the future... if the company decides to take that route, that is.
As for the Xbox 360 controller support, it's unfortunate that Surface is only compatible with the wired, USB version. Then again, gaming that requires an Xbox 360 controller will probably be better off played on a desktop PC anyway.