In advance of next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Singaporean hardware manufacturer Razer has shared images of its forthcoming keyboard and mouse for the Xbox One. We’ve known for a while that Razer had an Xbox-specific wireless keyboard in the works, but today marks the first time it’s shown any images.
Microsoft first announced back in September that it was testing keyboard and mouse compatibility on the Xbox One, after several years where the feature was promised but never quite materialized. Keyboard and mouse support was eventually rolled out via system update in mid-November.
The feature must be deliberately built into an Xbox game by its developers in order for it to work, and at time of writing, only 14 Xbox One games can be used with a keyboard and mouse. Most of them are independent games, in addition to Warframe (a free-to-play third-person shooter by Canadian developers Digital Extremes) and Fortnite (you know what Fortnite is).
— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) December 17, 2018
The issue of using a keyboard and mouse on console is a surprisingly hard-fought battle among video game hobbyists, many of whom feel that the additional fine control given by a mouse both offers a potential competitive edge and makes certain types of games more fun, particularly first- and third-person shooters.
As more titles begin to offer cross-platform multiplayer, such as Minecraft and Fortnite, it’s likely that Microsoft’s move here will either fuel more players to move to the platform, or encourage Sony and Nintendo to roll out similar hardware peripherals for the PlayStation 4 and Switch. The alternative is for PS4/Switch players to run the risk of feeling handicapped by their choice of console whenever they try to take on Xbox owners in multiplayer games.
Razer was established in 2005 as a global brand, beginning with mice, keyboards, and other peripherals before moving into arcade sticks, tablets, PCs, and phones. Razer’s products are specifically intended for the hardcore-gamer demographic, and the brand sponsors multiple esports competitors and teams.
It first announced back in late September that it had partnered up with Microsoft to make sure its products were well-suited to the Xbox One. Many of Razer’s PC-focused mice and keyboards are already compatible with the console, but its forthcoming keyboard/mouse combo is specifically designed with the Xbox in mind.