Xbox rolls out mouse and keyboard support for cloud gaming, and actually markets its upcoming exclusive a little

Image of the Xbox May Update 2024.
(Image credit: Xbox)

What you need to know

  • The Xbox May 2024 Update is now here, and it's a modest one focusing on Xbox Cloud Gaming and the Xbox PC app.
  • Firstly, mouse and keyboard support is officially rolling out to Xbox Cloud Gaming subscribers on browser, with 26 initial games now and expanded support planned in the future.
  • Xbox is also beginning to release some Compact Mode improvements that have been in testing to a select few players.
  • Finally, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II is getting a new curated channel in the Xbox app ahead of its release next week.

Around once a month, Xbox releases an update across its ecosystem with new features and improvements for Xbox consoles, Xbox Game Pass, the Xbox PC app, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Now, the Xbox May Update for 2024 is rolling out to players across the platform — but don't get too excited. This is a modest update that could be a sign of bigger things to come, but right now may only apply to a small subset of Xbox players.

You can check out the release notes for the Xbox May 2024 Update at Xbox Wire, but I'll tell you everything you need to know right here. It's not a lot. Firstly, Xbox is publicly releasing mouse and keyboard support for certain Xbox Cloud Gaming titles, which was previously tested in the Xbox Insider program. The initial list of supported games is 26 long, with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers able to play these titles with a mouse and keyboard simply by selecting them with a mouse and keyboard in a supported browser.

A new collection for mouse and keyboard supported games. (Image credit: Xbox)

Xbox also plans to expand support to more games, of course, and an imminent update to the Xbox PC app will let users access the same mouse and keyboard games without a controller. If you want to switch between inputs, you just have to press any button on your keyboard or controller. Here's the full list of supported games at launch:

  • ARK Survival Evolved
  • Atomic Heart
  • Cities: Skylines Mayor’s Edition
  • Cities: Skylines Remastered
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Doom 64
  • Fortnite — browser only
  • Gears Tactics
  • Grounded
  • Halo Infinite
  • High on Life
  • House Flipper
  • Inkulinati (Game Preview)
  • Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
  • Norco
  • Pentiment
  • Quake
  • Quake 2
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Slime Rancher 2
  • Sniper Elite 5
  • State of Decay 2
  • Terraria
  • The Sims 4
  • Valheim (Game Preview)
  • Zombie Army 4: Dead War

What else? Well, that's about it. The Xbox PC app team mentions that some of the Compact Mode improvements recently dropped to Xbox Insiders (like the Jump Back In panel and Friends list enhancements) are now rolling out to a small subset of players publicly for more testing.

Oh, and Senua's Saga: Hellblade II is getting its own dedicated channel in the Xbox PC app ahead of its impending release on May 21, 2024. If this is the first you're hearing about the game, I couldn't blame you — Xbox hasn't exactly been aggressive about marketing beyond a handful of social media posts, a scattering of blogs, and some banners on Xbox platforms. Now, the Xbox PC app also features a special channel for the gorgeous sequel, which features options to preinstall the game, play the first through Xbox Game Pass, and watch a special video to hype up the release.

You can check out our Senua's Saga: Hellblade II FAQ for more info on the game, or simply dive into our Senua's Saga story recap for a refresher on the events of the first game.

Modest updates, modest marketing

Absolutely gorgeous and highly anticipated... By a few. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Senua's Saga: Hellblade II is the first Xbox Game Studios release of 2024, so it should be an important drop for the Xbox ecosystem. It has been a long time in the making, and Ninja Theory has elevated its skills in visuals, motion capture, audio design, and storytelling to all-new levels for this landmark sequel. It's a technological achievement, with Hellblade 2's photo mode being one of the most impressive we have ever seen in a video game.

Sadly, this modest Xbox update reflects Hellblade 2's modest marketing. Xbox has been relatively quiet ahead of the game's release, with marketing only just now beginning to ramp up — mere days away from release. There are banners on the Xbox Dashboard and in the Microsoft Store for Xbox, and we've gotten teasers, tweets, and posts across Xbox and Ninja Theory social channels, but it does feel a lot more tame than you'd expect for a major first-party release.

Hopefully, the new Senua's Saga: Hellblade II channel in the Xbox App does increase the game's visibility a little, as I'm very excited for the game and want as many people as possible to experience this franchise. If you want to check the game out yourself, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II is releasing on May 21 for Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, Xbox and PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. You can preorder Senua's Saga: Hellblade II for $49.99 at Microsoft Store (Xbox & PC) or $45.39 at CDKeys (Xbox & PC).

Senua's Saga: Hellblade II — $45.39 at CDKeys (Xbox & PC) | $49.99 at Microsoft Store (Xbox & PC)

Senua's Saga: Hellblade II — $45.39 at CDKeys (Xbox & PC) | $49.99 at Microsoft Store (Xbox & PC)

Ninja Theory has been working for years on its latest masterpiece, a new chapter in Senua's story that tells of her struggles in Iceland against foes both human and supernatural, all while dealing with the weight of her psychosis.

Also see — Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice for $11.69 at CDKeys (Xbox) | $5.19 at CDKeys (PC)

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.