Microsoft has announced that mouse and keyboard support is coming to the Xbox platform (as a core feature developers can use) via their Inside Xbox podcast . Shortly after, Razor followed up with a tease for possible custom hardware to be shown soon:
🚨WAITING FOR SOMETHING EPIC?
Be sure to tune in to the November edition of #InsideXbox to find out what's on the horizon.
— R Λ Z Ξ R (@Razer) September 25, 2018
The first thought many reporters and players had was how this opens up possibilities for games that traditionally do better with M&K controls such as RTS and MOBA to really shine on a console for the first time.
There’s an opportunity that goes beyond this though as allowing M&K input in Xbox games would allow console and PC users to play together without the inherent advantages mouse and keyboard have over analog sticks. This middle ground could allow Microsoft to combine it’s 40 million player Xbox One userbase with the 1.2 BILLION player PC demographic. Unlike Sony, Microsoft has stores on both Xbox and Windows but haven’t been able to connect the two platforms totally due to the annihilation console players would suffer from PC gamer’s superior input methods.
This would radically change the landscape when it comes to how many players a developer can harness together. The PlayStation 4 currently dominates the console landscape with an install base of 80 million. They have absolutely no interest in allowing players to go outside of their closed platform even though publishers like Epic Games practically beg them to allowing Microsoft and Nintendo to essentially team up against them in that regard.
With equal ground options for control, the Xbox platform can have playlists in a game such as Fortnite allowing both PC and Nintendo Switch players to join in the fun based on controller or M&K options. This essentially allows everyone but mobile players to be accessible on a single platform… Unless that platform is PS4.
It will be interesting to watch things unfold as the ability to use M&K resides directly at the digression of the developers making the games. We could soon live in a world where PC Battle Royale, RTS, MOBA and shooter fans can play effortlessly with Xbox players on equal grounds. Massive in the making.