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Debates about keyboard and mouse play on home consoles has been ongoing since online gaming became a natural and regular thing in the home console space. Many console gamers believe that using a keyboard and mouse is cheating, and since you get better reaction times with a mouse than with a controller, many believe that it gives gamers using a keyboard and mouse an unfair advantage. Whether you think that keyboard and mouse play on a home console is cheating or not is irrelevant, because Razer and Microsoft have teamed up, and official support for the PC-oriented gaming peripherals will be coming to the Xbox One... soon.
Over on the official Xbox News site, there's an announcement that Microsoft and Razer have teamed up to enable keyboard and mouse support for the Xbox One. This isn't a far off deal either. Xbox Insiders will see testing opportunities arise within the next few weeks, where they will be able to play-test the new features.
Additionally, Microsoft has opened up the Xbox so that developers can build in native support at the hardware level for the new gaming devices. So, some games can be designed from the ground-up with a mouse in mind, while others can make use of keyboards right from the get-go. I imagine this will be extremely useful for MMOs currently available on the Xbox One or those coming to the Xbox One, as the ability to use a keyboard to type out instructions to teammates, or give them advice during dungeon runs would be extremely helpful. I imagine communicating in games like Final Fantasy XIV or making use of chat windows in Monster Hunter Online without having to initiate voice chat would be a huge help.
Mouse-play will also change the landscape of some competitive games, as being able to zero in on headshots in titles like Gears of War or Halo could easily alter the complexion of competitive multiplayer gaming on the Xbox One. This also would have been really helpful for things like Project Spark and being able to easily make and create games using the precision of a mouse.
To help kickstart this idea, Microsoft teamed up with Razer as the preferred peripheral maker in order to provide Xbox One gamers with top tier options when it comes to supporting third-party keyboards and mice.
The news post also states that third-party devices will be supported as well. Beyond Razer, I'm assuming we can expect Thrustmaster, Mad Catz, and Steelseries to also join the fray as well. Initially, support will be themed around Razer, but details on what that partnership means was not revealed in the news post. Microsoft plans to outline all of that at a later date.
This has always been a contentious subject for gamers due to the nature of how control schemes can drastically alter the way a game is played, from turbo buttons and macros, to high DPI and rapid function keys; there's a litany of reasons attached to why keyboard and mouse combinations on consoles can be considered cheating, in the exact same way that they can also help elevate your game and improve your hand-eye coordination. We'll see how Microsoft addresses some of these issues in the coming weeks, especially as Xbox Insiders get first dibs on play-testing the new peripherals before the update rolls out to the wider public.