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Surface Tablets Will Support Xbox 360 Controllers

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.

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  • nvidiaguy07
    when i first read this article i was actually excited that they might have built a wireless receiver into surface tablets - and they possibly would do the same for future laptops. NOPE

    Who freaking cares, my android can do the same thing, and i can play wireless with a ps3 controller.

    Build on the IR receiver on your new laptops. I would kill to be able to use a wireless 360 controller on the go without that huge wireless receiver. Or at least make a nice little dongle.
    Reply
  • nightbird321
    I think the article can be summed up as "Surface has full sized USB 2.0 port".
    Reply
  • shafe88
    So is this just a gimmick to get people to buy surface tablets or will it actually serve a useful purpose. I don't think I want carry a tablet plus controller, Cause I'd look pretty funny walking down the street, tablet in one and controller in the other "Mercy".
    Reply
  • DirectX is an API that is part of Windows 8 and XInput enables the use of the Xbox controllers. This is the same API that you your games use on an Xbox. I believe the main point that is being taught here is that all Windows 8 devices will now be able to run and use the same stuff. You have to choose what fits you the best. It's not a gimmick (somebody asked Panay) it's a reality. If you WANT to use it, with your Windows 8 device, you CAN.
    Reply
  • classzero
    nvidiaguy07when i first read this article i was actually excited that they might have built a wireless receiver into surface tablets - and they possibly would do the same for future laptops. NOPEWho freaking cares, my android can do the same thing, and i can play wireless with a ps3 controller. Build on the IR receiver on your new laptops. I would kill to be able to use a wireless 360 controller on the go without that huge wireless receiver. Or at least make a nice little dongle.My android, my android . . .
    For now on I am rooting for windows 8.
    Reply
  • alidan
    how about make a decent software suite for the pc?
    how about make it so a charger cable works to hook up a wireless controller? i mean the pc KNOWS its a 360 controller, the only reson its locked is because microsoft are douceh bags and want to ruin pc gaming.

    hell alot of game i cant even get a non 360 controller to work,
    so i had to get a wired 360 controller
    because it has a deadzone, its impossible to play with native software
    i had to get a cracked custom software, and it explains NOTHING

    i will figure it all out some day... but not now

    and on a side note, i have a saitek p2500, and it has the such a great software suite everything is simple to configure, yet Microsoft cant even give me a simple damned program for it.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    nvidiaguy07when i first read this article i was actually excited that they might have built a wireless receiver into surface tablets - and they possibly would do the same for future laptops. NOPEWho freaking cares, my android can do the same thing, and i can play wireless with a ps3 controller. Build on the IR receiver on your new laptops. I would kill to be able to use a wireless 360 controller on the go without that huge wireless receiver. Or at least make a nice little dongle.Why add extra cost for a feature that only 2% of Surface users will use? The wired 360 controller is great. I already use a wired 360 controller on my PC, it's not like I sit 20 feet away. Are you planning on sitting that far away from your 10.6" tablet?
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    alextheblueWhy add extra cost for a feature that only 2% of Surface users will use? The wired 360 controller is great. I already use a wired 360 controller on my PC, it's not like I sit 20 feet away. Are you planning on sitting that far away from your 10.6" tablet?
    You'll find these boards are full of "experts" that totally hate anything from Microsoft, Apple, or Intel. It's cool to be stand-offish to what's cool, apparently.
    Reply
  • Cool, I guess. Any Windows thing with a USB 2.0 port can do this.

    jkflipflop98You'll find these boards are full of "experts" that totally hate anything from Microsoft, Apple, or Intel. It's cool to be stand-offish to what's cool, apparently.
    True. Sadly, rarely now will you see an actually level headed, non biased discussion on the comments. Now, people just bandwagon on hating Apple, Windows 8, consoles, AMD, Nintendo instead of experiencing their products and drawing their own conclusion.

    Its best that you go to overclock.net or some other site so you don't get curbstomped by fanboys here.
    Reply
  • echondo
    jkflipflop98You'll find these boards are full of "experts" that totally hate anything from Microsoft, Apple, or Intel. It's cool to be stand-offish to what's cool, apparently.
    As a non biased person, it would have been really nice if MS actually had a built in bluetooth for the wireless controllers, it's very tedious to carry around a dongle for wireless or a 6ft+ cable just so I can play without the hassle of wireless.

    Of course Surface users aren't people who game, and if they are buying the tablet for gaming then I don't know why they wouldn't buy a $300 Xbox 360 and some games and a subscription for cheaper.
    Reply