That’s the word from Head of Xbox Phil Spencer on Twitter. With Halo Wars 2 right around the corner, one fan asked if official keyboard and mouse support would come to the platform. Not at launch according to Spencer, but their looking into it for the future.
@ryan89778 It won’t be there at launch but this is support we’d like to add as it comes to the Xbox platform.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 30, 2017
It’s not concrete confirmation it’s coming, but Spencer is usually pretty good about listening to fans and seeing how they can incorporate feature requests into the Xbox platform.
Don’t worry about PC players having the edge over Xbox One in Halo Wars 2. Cross play didn’t make it in due to “some longer standing engine reasons.”
@KeenS805 I hope so, that’s our goal. HW2 doesn’t for some longer standing engine reasons but going forward cross-play is a good feature.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 28, 2017
I imagine the lack of Keyboard/Mouse support on Xbox One didn’t help either. PC players would have an obvious advantage from a micro and macro gameplay standpoint. It’s a whole lot easier to command single units or jump around the map on PC compared to Xbox One.
The advantages and possible pitfalls of Keyboard/Mouse on Xbox One
More games. More genres. Adding Keyboard/Mouse support could help bring games from World of Warcraft to Total War to Xbox One. At the very least, it solves one of the biggest problems facing these genres on consoles – the control scheme.
Popular open-world games like H1Z1 and ARK are also much easier to play on PC. Plus, it could help lessen the workload on devs bringing games to consoles. Instead of spending tons of time trying to fashion the perfect control scheme, devs can just focus on making sure their games run great on consoles first.
At least, that’s how it would work in a perfect world. Unfortunately, I doubt the Xbox team would let games on their platform that worked exclusively with Keyboard/Mouse. It’s the same principle as the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio. Games need to work for everybody. If you buy a Xbox One/PS4, you need to be able to play any game with the controller.
What Xbox could do is clearly market which games would require a Mouse/Keyboard. Similar to how PlayStation VR games are marketed.
Leveling the playing field. Keyboard/Mouse sounds great until you start playing against people using it while you’re stuck with a controller. There needs to be a feature devs can implement that disables Keyboard/Mouse on certain games or game modes. I remember Call of Duty disabling Party Chat for Search and Destroy back on the Xbox 360. Maybe the Xbox team can do something like that.
The pros far outweigh the cons here. Keyboard/Mouse support would open up a whole new set of games for folks who traditionally play consoles only. MMOs and RTS games can easily be brought over to consoles. And devs who might not have the manpower can bring their games over quicker too.
What do you think? Would you like to see Keyboard/Mouse come to Xbox One?