Microsoft wants everyone to know the joy that is low latency wireless gaming peripheral connections. The company is making the Xbox Wireless connection tech it uses between Xbox One and official controllers available to PC OEMs and accessory makers, starting with Lenovo’s new Cylon-like gaming rigs.
Xbox One controllers can be used with PCs now, but you need a dongle to make them talk to each other, since Xbox Wireless isn’t a typical connection standard like Bluetooth which you’d already have built-in to a gaming computer. Microsoft decided not to go with a common standard like Bluetooth for a number of reasons, including lower latency (lag time between when you hit a button, and when the game you’re playing responds to said button press), as well as support for wireless stereo sound, and compatibility with up to 8 devices at once time.
Microsoft is now opening up the connection to PC makers, as well as accessory manufacturers, which should mean not only gaming rigs equipped to talk to Xbox One controllers without dongles, but also joysticks, headsets, alternative controllers and other add-ons which can communicate directly to both PCs and Xbox consoles out of the box.
It seems like a small thing, but it further blurs the line between Xbox and Windows 10 devices, and could potentially pave the way for a future in which Xbox isn’t a console, but is instead a service delivered via a wide variety of OEM hardware, in the same way Windows works today.