We've known for a while that Microsoft intends to bring full mouse and keyboard gameplay support to the Xbox One platform, it has always simply been a case of when rather than if. Now with Minecraft Beta on the Xbox Insider program, we're getting our first taste of what that could look like.
I shot this quick video using a Razer Hex mouse plugged in via USB, and it works exactly as you might expect. The input lag is far too prohibitive to be used in something like a first-person shooter competitively, but it's a remarkable first step for full mouse support on a video game console. Refinements are obviously on-going.
This is on Xbox One. With a Razer mouse plugged in. First signs of mouse support showing up on Xbox Insider rings. pic.twitter.com/XhwHF3kRBn— Jez Corden (@JezCorden) 26 August 2017
The Xbox One cursor is a bit of a giant compared to that of a Windows PC, and it works perfectly fine, including the scroll wheel. You can activate it in the options menu, clearly indicating that this on the roadmap for the "Better Together" version of Minecraft.
Microsoft has stressed that they have no plans to allow mouse support where it doesn't make sense, such as forcing controller players to compete against mouse players in competitive FPS or RTS. It does seem as though Minecraft has the ability to enable and disable mouse support at will, given the fact it can be toggled in the menu for Minecraft. This indicates that you could see scenarios where there are mouse and keyboard playlists, and controller exclusive playlists, to prevent anti-competitive behavior.
Mouse support would give the Xbox One another key differentiator against its competition, giving players even more ways to play. Naturally, it will take time to get right, but clearly Microsoft is being careful about how they implement this potentially pivotal feature. We'll have to wait and see.