Mouse support could be part of the next big Xbox update, slated for the coming weeks.
Microsoft just shipped the new Fall Xbox update, bringing a revamped dashboard, 1080p game DVR recording, a new light theme, and many, many more new features. But Redmond isn’t finished there.
We already know new Avatars, game gifting, and OG Xbox backwards compatibility are all slated for a near-future Xbox update, but we now have some of the first details about future builds being prepared to hit the Alpha ring on the Xbox Insider Program. Mouse support could be a part of it.
The new mouse menu will sit under Kinect & devices, in the main settings menu. As of right now, it only allows you to control the pointer speed, and it only functions in apps and games that support the API.
So far, only Minecraft supports mouse and keyboard inputs for gaming on Xbox, but that is expected to expand in the future. Microsoft has categorically stated that it won’t incentivize developers to force cross-peripheral competitive play. Those using a controller won’t be forced to go up against mouse and keyboard players in competitive shooters, but the option might be there for those who don’t mind, as seen in Gears of War 4’s separate mixed playlist. The bottom line is, mouse controls will be an option in competitive play, and available in co-operative and single-player experiences for those who seek it.
It shouldn’t be seen as a coincidence either that Halo Wars 2 just announced cross-play support between Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, if it plans to also support mouse and keyboard on Xbox One for specific playlists. Naturally, Halo Wars 2 would be the perfect game to test this sort of environment, since real-time strategy players using mouse and keyboard inputs can generally achieve a higher actions-per-minute levels than those using a controller.
It shouldn’t be too long until the Xbox Insider Program’s Alpha ring is updated with the new round of features to test, which could include new Avatars, game gifting, OG Xbox backwards compatibility, and maybe mouse support as well. We’ll just have to wait and see.