There have been rumors floating around that the Xbox One controllers currently on shelves and in Xbox One boxes would not be PC compatible, but Microsoft’s Albert Penello has clarified that this simply isn’t true.
The source of the rumor is a post on Next in Gaming. The writer of the post states that he reached out to his Microsoft contact, who insisted on discussing the matter off his corporate line. The contact apparently said that there is a Windows version of the controller in the works and that owners of the console controller would be “left in the dark.” The source states that “Microsoft realized they could make an extra $50 or so off of not releasing the drivers.” The source adds that even with the drivers, “they will most likely make you buy the wireless dongle” and will not allow Micro USB connection of the controller.
The post ended up as a thread on gaming forum NeoGAF. Eventually, Microsoft’s Director of Product Planning, Albert Penello, replied – he’s been known to be active on NeoGAF as well as other social media in the past – to let everyone know that the post simply isn’t true.
This is 100% wrong. When the drivers become available, they will work with the existing controllers. There is no plan to do a new, separate controller that only works on Windows. It will be the same as it is on Xbox 360 – the Xbox One controller you have today will work.
That’s not to say that we may not ship also PC SKU of the Xbox One controller, much like we do on Xbox 360.
In other replies, Penello clarifies that the controller will work as a Micro USB wired device and will not require a dongle to work that way. The team is working on getting wired functionality going first, and are still planning on releasing the drivers this year. He added that the team working on this is looking into some options to get the wireless functionality working as well, such as the now hard-to-find dongle for the 360 controller.
Many gamers were hoping for a driver release to coincide with Titanfall, but Penello says that when the update comes out, he “can explain the holdup.”
A couple potential causes for the delay could reside in the two controller updates that occurred this winter. Part of the February update to the Xbox One included a new profile that improved how the Xbox One interprets controller inputs, implemented at the request of Respawn Entertainment for best performance in Titanfall. The second comes along with Microsoft’s official headset adapter. For the adapter to work, you first have to update your controller by plugging it into your Xbox and running an update in the menu. So not only do we have system-side changes, but changes to the firmware of the input device itself. Both likely threw a couple wrenches into the plans of the team working on the PC drivers.
The team is still working on the official drivers, but if you like tinkering and simply can’t wait, someone put together a hack for the controller that you can try out right now.