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Microsoft Prepares Mouse & Keyboard Support For Xbox Cloud Gaming

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Mouse and keyboard support is likely just around the corner for Xbox Cloud Gaming. Microsoft is preparing to add support for the peripherals for streaming games on PC, the Verge reports. This comes just a couple of months after Microsoft confirmed it was working to add support for the service.

Back in March of this year, Flight Simulator Boss Jor Neumann said that mouse and keyboard support was coming. The Microsoft Platform team was working on adding the support, but Neumann said he wasn’t sure when the feature would go live. As he wasn’t sure of the of Platform team’s plans. He did however speculate that it could be added sometime this Summer. And now it looks like that could very well be the case.

Devs are encouraged to add mouse and keyboard support to Xbox cloud games now

While there’s still no firm date on the availability, developers are being encouraged to add support for mouse and keyboard to their games now, so Xbox Cloud Gaming users will see it the moment the feature goes live.

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During an Xfest 2022 livestream on June 21, Software Engineer Morgan Brown talks about the optimization of mobile streaming experiences, as well as reducing latency. During the stream, he also mentions that developers can and should start adding mouse and keyboard support now.

This way console players of those games can enjoy the input method right now. Then those games will be ready for it later once it’s live on cloud gaming.

As for the latency reduction, Microsoft has some tricks up its sleeve. It starts with a new Display Details API that the company has been working on. Direct Capture is at the core of this API, and can help reproduce hardware features in software to reduce latency by up to 72ms overall.

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Direct Capture also helps eliminate having to wait for VSync, and it helps avoid having to wait for double or triple buffering to flip. Morgan also notes that by using Direct Capture, games don’t have to be scaled to and from TVs. Skipping that scaling step is a big part of the process. As scaling to and from TVs can add a fair bit of latency to the stream.