Microsoft just announced Xbox Wireless — a new standard that will let you use Xbox One accessories on Windows 10 computers, too.
Microsoft has already been inching towards this announcement, which finally happened Tuesday.
The new Xbox One S console ships with a refined controller that supports Bluetooth, so it can connect to PCs and Android tablets just as easily as it can to the Xbox One console itself. Plus, Microsoft offers a $20 USB adaptor to wirelessly connect an Xbox One controller to Windows 10.
Now, with Xbox Wireless, that’s getting taken a step further. The Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube will be the first PC to ship with that Xbox One controller wireless adaptor built right into the chassis, with more to come. Down the line, Microsoft is promising more devices with deeper integrations.
What this means for you: Starting with that Lenovo PC, and continuing on well into the future, it’s increasingly likely that your next Windows 10 PC will support Xbox controllers straight out of the box. Microsoft promises that Xbox Wireless is more responsive and reliable than Bluetooth, while also supporting up to eight connected controllers.
Microsoft also promises that future third-party accessories, like the guitar controller that comes with the forthcoming “Rock Band Rivals,” will support Xbox Wireless on both the PC and Xbox One. Which also lends a nice side benefit for gamers that mainly play on the Xbox One console, too.
By opening up Xbox Wireless to outside parties, it means accessory manufacturers can finally make wireless Xbox accessories. It sounds obvious, but Microsoft has long been loathe to share its wireless standard with anyone outside its own walls, meaning that most non-Microsoft controllers for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One needed unsightly wires.
Ultimately, Microsoft is doing all of this because it’s trying to knock down the barriers between the Xbox One and Windows 10, bringing more games to both platforms. Given that ambition, it only makes sense to let you use the controllers you want in the place you want to use them.