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Xbox One May Get Mouse, Keyboard Support

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.

  • The Indomitable
    I'll nuke so many scrubz with mouse and keybie
    Reply
  • boju
    "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.
    Reply
  • xtec
    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.
    Reply
  • jRaskell1
    "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.
    Reply
  • mobrocket
    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

    Reply
  • the1kingbob
    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.
    Reply
  • stevejnb
    11684914 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • stevejnb
    11685041 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • ram1009
    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?
    Reply
  • Division
    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.
    Reply