Xbox One third-party USB webcam support now live for Alpha Insiders

Microsoft has announced that support for third-party webcams is on its way to Xbox One. While up until now, camera support has been limited to the in-house Kinect sensor, this latest announcement hugely expands the range of cameras supported by the console. Furthermore, the initial stages of this rollout begin today, with functionality now available for those enrolled in the Alpha Ring of the Xbox Insider Program.

Third-party webcam support allows a wide range of plug-and-play cameras to be used on the console, even if not initially designed with Xbox One in mind. However, while in its early stages, functionality is restricted to its Mixer live-streaming service and Skype video calls. When closer to a public release, other applications will assumedly be able to take advantage of these devices.

Third-party webcam support is also limited exclusively to video input on Xbox One, meaning an external microphone/headset will be required for voice recording. Microsoft claims this is to prevent devices without echo cancellation being used, assumedly in a move to maintain a level of quality across its services.

To get started with the feature as a member of the Alpha ring, simply restart your console and connect USB camera. After being detected, the camera should be ready for use through the Skype and Mixer apps.

For those outside of the Alpha ring, support is currently slated to roll out to a wider pool of Insiders in the "coming weeks."

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.

  • yet, the kinect is only $50
  • And about 17 times larger than a webcam. And not everyone has a kinect. Lots of people have webcams.
  • At that price the Kinect is a better value.
  • Now buy a One S or One X. And buy a $50 Kinect. And now buy the $40 Kinect adapter to make it work with the One S or One X. Cool, $90 for a giant not-very-good web cam that does 3D gestures, in theory, but not anymore since they were removed. High five.
  • This is the issue. The One S was my first Xbox, so I didn't qualify for the free adapter. I refuse to pay to support this bad business practice of charging your customers because you won't make a native USB device. Not supporting audio on webcams makes this news 100% useless. I only want webcam support for Skype & Cortana, so this doesn't help at all. It really boggles my mind why this hasn't been addressed yet.
  • Because its still in development.
  • MGL evenings could be a bit more interesting in future ;-)
  • Xbox One needs more USB ports. I've only found 1 USB hub that plays nice with Xbox and they don't make it anymore.
  • Agreed, I will be plugging in my Kinect adapter, my external hard drive and my TV dongle, no more room for anything else.  
  • We bought ours with the Kinect, which was useful until Microsoft gutted it.
  • So we can only have videos call in skype only if we have headphones?
  • Actually, you can make video calls with an open mic if you take care of the echo cancellation. If your mic does not support echo cancellation, you can always use SoliCall Pro. This software uses a virtual audio device technology to connect to the audio stream and do the echo cancellation.