Microsoft’s Xbox One Wireless Adapter is slowly making its way out into the wild, letting PC gamers get in on wireless gaming with their Xbox One controllers. With the Steam Link and Steam Machines on the horizon, there’d been hope among gamers – and likely developers – that the device would work with the Steam hardware. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controller was dominant for years, and the Xbox One controller is a solid replacement with a whole pile of improvements. In PC gaming, Xbox controllers are second in popularity only to the mouse and keyboard, and the Xbox One controller is growing in popularity quickly.
Valve had said last week that the wireless dongle would be compatible with Steam hardware while speaking to GamesBeat, but that’s been confirmed not to be the case, and Valve has since retracted the statement.
The adapter works only with Windows 10, which Microsoft mentions quite a few times on the product’s page. This is a change from the last generation Xbox 360 adapter, which worked with not only Windows 7 and 8, but with other operating systems as well because the wireless communication happened onboard and the device interacted with systems the same way the controller did. Microsoft’s decision to hold the device just for Windows 10 isn’t news, but it still feels weird, even as someone who embraced the operating system immediately. If there’s a technical reason it can only work with Windows 10, Microsoft hasn’t made that reason clear, but it seems more likely that the device is simply being pushed as another reason to make the free upgrade.
I have a Steam Link on the way to use with Fallout 4 in a few weeks, so I’m disappointed to hear this isn’t an option for me. I get enough wired gaming with my PlayStation 4 controller’s terrible battery life – I’d rather not add wires where I shouldn’t have to.