The Xbox One might be getting keyboard and mouse support thanks to a partnership between Razer and Microsoft. Earlier in the year, Microsoft had indicated to developers it might offer support for the traditionally PC gaming peripherals soon, but there has been little indication since then that the plan has advanced any further.
While there have been console gaming keyboards created before with varying amounts of success, there hasn't been a better fit for the technology than the Xbox One. Microsoft's cross-play service with Windows 10 has already bridged a gap between PC gamers and their console counterparts. Microsoft's exclusive titles also support the Play Anywhere initiative, wherein gamers can choose to play a Microsoft title on the Xbox One and the PC seamlessly.
A recent document leak, broken by Windows Central, suggests that the Xbox One will be getting keyboard and mouse support sooner than we'd previously thought. The report indicates that Microsoft was planning to showcase mouse support in the April update of the Xbox dev kit, the tool that lets developers experiment with new features supported by Xbox One. If Microsoft was ready to launch mouse support in April, then there's a strong chance the keyboard would follow soon.
The report also demonstrates what amounts to a very clear and nuanced partnership between Razer and Microsoft. Razer, known for its PC gaming peripherals, is a company that caters almost exclusively toward the hardcore gamer demographic. The presentation visuals in the document leak detailed how the Razer Chroma RGB lighting support would work with the Xbox One. Razer Chroma is a popular feature used today in multiplayer games like Overwatch and DOTA 2, and can be programmed to offer gamers color-based cues on in-game timings like ability cooldowns.
Those worried about the competitive impact of keyboard and mouse support on the Xbox One will be happy, too. The report also indicated that Microsoft has technology available that would let developers detect who is using a keyboard and mouse in a given Xbox One title. This would allow developers to put keyboard and mouse users into a separate matchmaking lobby. Traditionally, keyboard and mouse users are advantaged over those playing with a controller partially because they have more input options available, so keeping those users separate is crucial in preserving the competitive balance of multiplayer Xbox One games.
Ultimately, these plans might not be moving ahead, since Microsoft scrapped the April update. Now that the technology is confirmed to exist, however, gamers likely won't let this one go, and Microsoft would be hard pressed to abandon the feature entirely. The company has made it clear it feels there is something to be gained by bringing console and PC gamers together, and Xbox One keyboard and mouse support would be yet another step in that direction.
Source: Windows Central