Microsoft is set to add mouse and keyboard support to Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud), its service that lets you stream Xbox games to televisions, computers, mobile devices and more. Earlier this year, the company had hinted that it would bring the functionality and is now encouraging developers to prepare for the addition of the mouse, keyboard, and major improvements in latency.
Xbox Game Streaming Team Software Engineer Morgan Brown explained that Xbox has had keyboard and mouse support for years, but now the goal is to bring the function to PC streaming users.
Previously, Microsoft Flight Simulator director Jorg Neumann hinted that keyboard and mouse support in Xbox Cloud Gaming could arrive this winter. The company has been encouraging developers to think more about this feature for games that stream on PC, so it’s likely to appear soon.
The intention is that games on the Xbox platform on Cloud Gaming, not those on PC, have the possibility for the player to choose to play with a mouse and keyboard or the traditional joystick. Titles like Sea of Thieves, Minecraft, Halo Infinite and even Fortnite could count on the novelty. Currently, few games have the function.
Along with mouse and keyboard support, Microsoft will also provide more options for developers to improve streaming latency in their games through the new Display Details API, which can save up to 72ms of latency overall. It uses Direct Capture, which reproduces hardware resources in software to eliminate waiting time for VSync, doubling and even tripling the load, and can even do the scaling necessary for televisions.
Microsoft is adding keyboard and mouse support to Xbox Cloud Gaming soon. Xbox devs are being encouraged to add support to games now so they light up in xCloud once the integration is ready https://t.co/nBlgat5voJ pic.twitter.com/aYc5HftCia
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 21, 2022
However, Direct Capture supports maximum resolution of 1440p and there is no support for dynamic resolution or HDR yet, but this should not be a problem for most developers as Xbox Cloud Gaming runs games at 720p on mobile devices and even 1080p on PC. Microsoft intends to increase these numbers and reach 4K, but there is no forecast for that to happen.
Latency improvements are key in game streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Direct Capture is a promising feature.