Now, there’s signs that’s finally happening. Supposedly, Microsoft has worked with Razer to prepare a new line of gaming peripherals with support for Razer’s Chroma lighting scheme in-game. If you’re unfamiliar with it, typically how this works is that the keyboard backlight or mouse light changes color to reflect what’s happening in-game, turning green when your health is good, yellow when you’ve been injured, and red when you’re near death.
Apparently Razer’s Turret (a combined keyboard and mouse, shown above) was demoed in April, but Windows Central reports that this demo, which was apparently partly going to announce mouse support, was expected to launch in that time frame. Instead, that date may have slipped into the fall, with keyboard and mouse support possibly coming this year. WC also managed to score some slides from the presentation, including those discussing how the new peripherals can be used.
The question of multiplayer balance and how keyboard and mouse will be deployed in multiplayer matches is genuine. Controllers cannot compete with mice for pixel-perfect accuracy, but some console titles deploy aim-boosting software on the console side that they don’t use on PCs, due to the difference between controllers. Making certain that one side doesn’t have an advantage over the other is a major requirement for any kind of rollout of mouse + keyboard capability.
And there’s also the larger question of just how many people want this feature in the living room. As a die-hard PC gamer myself, I’d instinctively tend to prefer a mouse and keyboard for any gaming. I’ve gamed in my living room with that kind of setup before, albeit with a hard surface for mousing (my mice don’t tend to track well on furniture and I find the increased resistance annoying in any case).
But these are issues that can be worked out on a title-by-title basis, as Microsoft implies will be the case. There are some restrictions — keyboards and mice will be one to a system, even though each Xbox One supports multiple gamepads, so somebody is going to get stuck with the controller in any co-op play. But while the feature may only be used by a relative handful of people, it’ll be a benefit to those who prefer console gaming’s simplicity, but the PC’s overall control scheme.
To be clear, none of these announcements are public yet, so details could still change — but here’s hoping keyboard and mouse compatibility are on their way sooner, not later.