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Xbox One May Get Mouse, Keyboard Support

By - Source: Videogamer | B 54 comments

There are a number of reasons why the Xbox One should support a mouse and keyboard.

Microsoft's director of programming for Xbox Live Larry Hryb recently revealed that the upcoming Xbox One console could land support for a mouse and keyboard after it hits retail stores next month. He indicated that support may depend on game developers, but given the company's push for businesses to use the console, we're betting mouse and keyboard support will eventually be a given.

"We'll certainly have this great SDK for developers to do what they like," he told Newegg TV. "If that's something they're interested in doing, we'll certainly help them do that. You pointed out, as a lot of people forget, designing for a 2-foot gaming experience versus perhaps a nine or ten-foot experience is a little bit different. So they have to be really focused on what is that like and they're maximizing for the largest possible audience."

"Certainly it's possible, but we don't have anything to announce at this time," he added.

Back in July, Marques Lyons, Microsoft Xbox MVP and the Director of Consumer Camp, approached businesses with the idea of using the Xbox One in their environment not as a gaming device, but as an affordable option for video conferencing and networking. Ideal apps include Skype, SkyDrive for viewing documents, pictures and video, and Internet Explorer for opening Office Web Apps and unloading an Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation.

"If you host clients at your home, use the power of IE and the size of your TV to showcase your new redesigned website, or snap IE to the side while using SkyDrive to present sketches you're working on," he described. "Because Internet Explorer has access to the Office Web Apps, pair that with a Wi-Fi keyboard and mouse and you have the means to edit documents, when necessary, even if you aren't near your PC."

The "business" pitch seemingly describes a console-sized PC with an included motion sensor. Many offices may not want to deal with the Kinect hand and voice-based gestures, and instead rely on the trusted mouse and keyboard combo. Thus, if Microsoft intends to push the console into the business sector, then support for old-school input may be necessary.

But there's another reason why Microsoft and Xbox One developers may want to consider mouse and keyboard support: Steam Machines. Although Valve Software is making a huge push in using controllers with this initiative, PC gamers will presumably still have the option of using their mouse and keyboard. Unfortunately, Hryb seemed reserved about using the mouse and keyboard method on the Xbox One, saying that this setup has gamers leaning forward whereas gamepads allow players to lean back and "have fun".

"I don't want to incite the religious debate that will ensue, [but] we want to provide a gaming experience that people enjoy, certainly with Windows – that's our other large gaming platform at Microsoft. So there's something there, but right now we're really focused on the console space," he said.

Ultimately developers should consider adding both mouse/keyboard support and gamepad support – especially in titles simultaneously released on both Microsoft Windows and Xbox One -- and allow the gamer to choose their poison. For the record, the Xbox 360 supports a USB keyboard, but not a mouse.

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  • 10 Hide
    boju , October 9, 2013 7:42 AM
    "saying that this setup has gamers leaning forward"

    Wireless keyboard resting on couch arm rest / upper leg and wireless mouse wherever comfortable, preferably on couch cushion. Pretty lazy relaxed position i say. These guys narrow thinking or what???

    Nevertheless, if keyboard/mouse option proceeds, there will be no excuse not to be in unison with PC gamers.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    The Indomitable , October 9, 2013 7:35 AM
    I'll nuke so many scrubz with mouse and keybie
  • 10 Hide
    boju , October 9, 2013 7:42 AM
    "saying that this setup has gamers leaning forward"

    Wireless keyboard resting on couch arm rest / upper leg and wireless mouse wherever comfortable, preferably on couch cushion. Pretty lazy relaxed position i say. These guys narrow thinking or what???

    Nevertheless, if keyboard/mouse option proceeds, there will be no excuse not to be in unison with PC gamers.
  • 8 Hide
    jRaskell1 , October 9, 2013 8:04 AM
    "Unfortunately, Hryb seemed reserved about using the mouse and keyboard method on the Xbox One, saying that this setup has gamers leaning forward whereas gamepads allow players to lean back and "have fun"."

    This simply makes no sense. We're talking about an OPTION here. If you don't want to use a kb/mouse, you won't have to (tiny assumption being made there). Here's an idea, how about you give gamers a CHOICE as to how THEY want to have fun?

    The real truth though is this won't happen for the very same reason it hasn't happened on existing platforms, because it would finally provide an environment to put the whole kb/mouse vs gamepad debate to bed, and the powers that be know it would not be in favor of the gamepad.
  • 2 Hide
    mobrocket , October 9, 2013 8:07 AM
    I doubt most game designers are going to allow for support of both in their console games...I could see this used primarily for the xbox one non gaming features

  • 4 Hide
    the1kingbob , October 9, 2013 8:09 AM
    Bet you a lot of people playing FPSs online will begin to convert when they get destroyed by mouse users.... If I remember correctly Microsoft was going to do cross platform gaming on one of there releases (i don't remember which one) but found that 9/10 the PC (w/mouse) users destroyed the console users. There are a lot of cool things the mouse and keyboard could be useful for in game and at the home screen.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , October 9, 2013 8:12 AM
    Quote:
    If they allow mice and keyboard in game I will NEVER EVER buy an Xbox 1. The reason I game on console is to sit back on the couch and be comfortable. I have tried that with a keyboard and mouse and it DOES NOT WORK. I can understand it for business, apps, and web surfing.


    Wireless keyboard and mouse. I'm sitting in a lazyboy style chair with a keyboard on my lap and the mouse on a small table right beside the chair, and my girlfriend usually has mouse one on a small book on the armrest of her chair. What's more, roller-ball mice (or whatever they're called) work very well and you can literally balance the damned things on your head and use them as effectively as a normal mouse - no regular resting surface required.

    ( http://vayzo.com/images/stories/logitech-trackball-mouse.jpg )

    The idea that a keyboard and mouse has to be awkward/uncomfortable and can't be used well from an armchair on a TV is a complete myth. I totally understand why some people would prefer a controller for many things - heck, I prefer them for many types of games - but if you want a *really* comfortable mouse and keyboard setup, it isn't that hard to do or expensive.
  • 3 Hide
    stevejnb , October 9, 2013 8:14 AM
    Quote:
    Bet you a lot of people playing FPSs online will begin to convert when they get destroyed by mouse users.... If I remember correctly Microsoft was going to do cross platform gaming on one of there releases (i don't remember which one) but found that 9/10 the PC (w/mouse) users destroyed the console users. There are a lot of cool things the mouse and keyboard could be useful for in game and at the home screen.


    Personally, I hope they have some filter options for this sort of thing and users are tagged if they are using a KB/M rather than a controller. I mean, I actually prefer using a controller for FPS's even if they are less accurate - they're just more comfortable overall, I find - but I wouldn't want to play against a KB/M user while I was using a controller. Cross platform gaming would work just fine - just have some control option filter settings.
  • 7 Hide
    ram1009 , October 9, 2013 8:20 AM
    I must wonder if some of you can read. The article doesn't say that support would be provided for mouse/keyboard INSTEAD of controller but rather in addition to. How can anybody object to that?
  • 8 Hide
    Division , October 9, 2013 8:24 AM
    Lack of mouse/keyboard support is the only reason I refuse to play any FPS on a console. There is no debate, M/K is far superior to a gamepad for FPS games, but can also have advantages in dungeon crawlers, such as Diablo III, and virtually all MMOs can have a huge benefit. M/K support would allow games like World of Warcraft to come over to consoles without much effort. RTS games like StarCraft would be viable.

    These console companies and their game manufacturers don't seem to focus on just how much better a console and the gaming experience could be....instead they focus on crybabies who don't want to ruin their "gamepad" experience. In reality those are few and far between. True gamers know that a M/K is far superior.

    The money these companies can make, the merging of the PC and Console gamers, the advanced controls for complex games, all leads to money in their wallet. Why do they still advocate against M/K support makes no business sense.
  • -1 Hide
    n3ard3ath , October 9, 2013 8:24 AM
    "May" get a mouse and keyboard. What a bunch of arrogant pricks. And if it got it, it'll only work with advertised Official Xbox One Keyboard/Mouse Kit. Legacy keyboard/mouse should have worked with Xbox360 from day one. As third party racing wheels should have worked, but it doesn't. I was stupid enough to get a 360, I won't do that mistake again.
  • 3 Hide
    soccerplayer88 , October 9, 2013 8:27 AM
    I could see how keyboard/mouse users have an edge over the traditional controller user. Especially in an FPS environment.

    You can't beat mouse precision. I always thought this is why console game developers stayed away from M/K support.

    For general chatting and web browsing, M/K is a welcomed addition to consoles. For gaming, your treading some dangerous water. We'll see.
  • 2 Hide
    nolarrow , October 9, 2013 8:27 AM
    Its not about the fps gaming debate. Its about all the titles console players will be able to enjoy with access to a mouse and keyboard.

    ARPGs
    Mobas
    RTS
    Sim - Civilization
    MMORPG??? - never played one but I assume its easier to cast spells with a 100+ key keyboard than a controller.

  • 2 Hide
    GoldenI , October 9, 2013 8:34 AM
    I will just stick with my PC. :) 
  • 2 Hide
    ubercake , October 9, 2013 8:48 AM
    While nothing on even a next-gen console compares to my gaming PC, this is definitely awesome. Some games are appropriate for controllers and others for mouse and keyboard, while others are appropriate for steering wheel setups, etc... I would buy the mouse keyboard combo just for first-person shooters.

    This has been a stopper for a lot of people who might otherwise buy a low-end gaming PC. Now, you'll be able to game with a mouse and keyboard while only spending $500 on the console.

    Game developers should definitely hop on board.
  • -1 Hide
    kartu , October 9, 2013 9:02 AM
    PS3 supports both, unless you are browsing it's pretty useless.
    Oh, and starting browser on Xbone requires gold subscription.
  • -3 Hide
    firefoxx04 , October 9, 2013 9:04 AM
    Why does everyone think using a mouse is automatically making you better? Have you not seem COD or Halo sniper videos? Those guys are insane with what they can do with a controller with the sensitivity at max. Not everyone plays on the min sensitivity.

    Once you get used to what you use, you are good to go.

    That said, I doubt they will allow mouse to be used in game because that might hurt controller sales. $20 mouse or $60 controller? What about multiple users on the same console, how do they hook up their headsets? They cant with a mouse.
  • 1 Hide
    will1220 , October 9, 2013 9:14 AM
    Hope this happens, I'd buy a console if and only if add support for M/K for <u><b>every</b></u> game.

    If this happens, I can't wait to destroy my arrogant friends who think their pro gamers. It would easily be worth the $500 to destroy them in FPS.
  • -1 Hide
    stevejnb , October 9, 2013 9:23 AM
    Quote:
    Hope this happens, I'd buy a console if and only if add support for M/K for <u><b>every</b></u> game.

    If this happens, I can't wait to destroy my arrogant friends who think their pro gamers. It would easily be worth the $500 to destroy them in FPS.


    So you playing with a KB/M combo... And them playing with a controller, or a KB/M combo they don't regularly use... You'd destroy them - which would prove very, very much I might add.

    You know, you *might* have something in common with your "arrogant friends" ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    ubercake , October 9, 2013 9:30 AM
    Quote:
    PS3 supports both, unless you are browsing it's pretty useless.
    Oh, and starting browser on Xbone requires gold subscription.


    So the Sony implementation of the mouse and keyboard are useless. It doesn't mean they will be on the MS implementation.
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