Microsoft has told Computer & Video Games magazine (C&VG) that the official Xbox One controller will be supported on Windows PCs some time during 2014. The new drivers will apparently allow the "seamless" use of the new pad with games that currently are designed to work with the Xbox 360 controller. The delay is due in part to the very different architectures between the two controllers explained Microsoft.
A Microsoft spokesperson said to C&VG "As we've stated, the Xbox One controller, although it looks similar in many ways, shares no underlying technology with the current Xbox 360 controller. New wireless protocol, combined with the ability to work in 'wired' mode, and the addition of features like Impulse triggers, means that new software has to be written and optimized for the PC." The representative went on to explain that work needs to be done to ensure compatibility with PC games which support the current Xbox controller and that "quite a bit of dedicated work" would be required.
If you are eager or interested in using the new Xbox controller on your PC the Microsoft rep said you can "expect to have the functionality available in 2014".
An insider's look at the Xbox One controller
In previous publicity about the upcoming Xbox One we have seen quite a lot of focus, time and energy used promoting the new controller, how much better it is and how many improvements have gone into it.
Now Microsoft has really pushed the boat out to create a seven minute feature video explaining and praising the new controller and talking in quite some depth about the new features within. The video 'stars' Microsoft's Major Nelson and Xbox Accessories general manager Zulfi Alam. It's embedded directly below...
Topics covered include; the battery door, ergonomics, research studies, screw holes, thumb sticks, D-pad adjustments, trigger rumble motors, the microUSB port, the wireless protocol, the central IR window/button, Kinect interoperability, ABXY button optimisations. Overall the controller should be familiar to current Xbox gamers, featuring "the best of the old one" but with additional Xbox One functionality.
Xbox One Kinect necessity dumped
In other Xbox One news Microsoft Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten has said that while all Xbox One console packages will include the new Kinect the company has removed the mandatory nature of having the sensor connected.
"Like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn't plugged in, although you won't be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor," explained Whitten to IGN. It is also possible to switch off the Kinect in your settings rather than unplug it. Previously we were told by Microsoft that the Xbox One was a full package that works together, with the Kinect required to be connected "in all cases".