Some of Microsoft’s most important announcements for PC gamers continue to come from the gutter. While DirectX 12 looks to occupy two stages at GDC, we have to look to a pokey corner of NeoGAF for word on the Xbox One controller - already in our lounges, but not in conversation with our computers.
The news is good: Microsoft director of product planning Albert Penello says we can expect proper support for the gamepad on PC this year - and it won’t require any extra gadgetry before it starts accepting our inputs.
“The plan is this year,” said Penello when pressed about a release timeframe, but wouldn’t be drawn further. “When the update comes out and we have more details, I can explain the holdup.”
Asked whether a new dongle - break for sniggering - would be required for PC compatibility, Penello replied that the Xbox One controller in wired mode would “work as-is”. How a wireless equivalent might work is still up for discussion.
“There are some options we are looking at,” said Penello of a wireless controller. “First order is getting the wired controller working.”
Penello wouldn’t rule out the possibility of an Xbox One controller sold as a distinct product for the PC. Microsoft already sell a version of the 360 gamepad in similar fashion.
However, the director was quick to quash any suggestion that existing console controllers wouldn’t be compatible with the PC.
“There is no plan to do a new, separate controller that only works on Windows,” he said. “It will be the same as it is on Xbox 360 - the Xbox One controller you have today will work.”
For the time being, unofficial Xbox One gamepad compatibility has been hashed out by one enterprising amateur developer. Early reports suggest his solution works, and works well - after some initial fiddliness.
I have a third-party USB dongle permanently hanging out the front of my machine - pause to regain composure - to accommodate a wireless Xbox 360 controller. I’m not sure whether I’d rather keep that, or be tethered to my rig via an Xbox One cord. How about you?