One of the big differentiators between gaming on a PC compared to a games console is the method of input. On PC, you will more than likely be using a keyboard and mouse, while on a games console it will be a game pad. And that difference has stayed pretty much the same since games consoles were first introduced. PCs have game pads, but keyboard and mouse is by far and away the most popular input method.
For the Xbox One, Microsoft is planning to embrace keyboard and mouse support. As Gameguru Mania reports, Mike Ybarra, corporate vice president of Xbox & Windows gaming platform at Microsoft, confirmed as much during a Q&A panel held at PAX West.
Mouse and Keyboard are still coming… pic.twitter.com/jbzcQvAsyS
— Xbox E3 Fans (@XboxE3Fans) September 2, 2017
Ybarra rightly highlights "fairness" as a key concern. That's because players using a keyboard and mouse enjoy a clear advantage over those using a controller in specific types of game, most notably first-person shooters. Add in competitive multiplayer gaming and you can see how unfair that could be.
The solution Microsoft is most likely going to use to that problem is developer choice. A game can support keyboard and mouse input if the developers wants it there. If they do, then multiplayer will also require giving the player the choice of only playing against others using the same control method. That way no one player gets an advantage simply by using one input method over the other.
For now, support is still referred to as coming soon, but Ybarra says when it does appear it will be alongside games that are confirmed as including it as a control option. Hopefully that's going to happen before the end of the year, but it may slip into 2018 as Microsoft focuses on marketing the Xbox One X for the holiday season.