The Xbox One is set to get its most significant update to date on Thursday with the New Xbox One Experience, but what's coming after that? Microsoft isn't ready to talk specifics, but the company has now said you should expect background music support to come before keyboard and mouse controls for games.
"We actually have keyboard support right now, not for games, but you can attach it and do input," Xbox engineer Mike Ybarra said in an interview with WindowsCentral. Support for USB keyboards was introduced to Xbox One back in February 2015.
"It's on our list, we look at user feedback, some things pop and some things don't," Ybarra said about full keyboard and mouse support for Xbox One games. "I would say that one's kind of lower on the list relative to things like background music, and the list goes on. It's certainly in the backlog of things we're looking at and if more and more fans are asking for it, it'll get more interest. Would people would want an Xbox One Windows desktop in the living room? It's interesting to think about."
On the subject of background music specifically, Ybarra said this item is also on the backlog and joked that Xbox boss Phil Spencer reminds him of this every day.
"The great thing about Windows 10 on Xbox One is that it really allows us to increase the efficiency of the system, other tasks that take resources to run become easier for us to implement," he said. "Background music is something we know our fans want, it's on our list, and we're definitely looking at it."
Xbox One owners can currently use the Xbox Music app to listen to music while playing a game, but only with Snap. This takes up a portion of the screen, making it a less-than-ideal solution. There is clearly demand for a better alternative. On the Xbox Feedback site, more than 21,000 people have voted for "Play Music From Apps Without Snap (Background Music)."
The New Xbox One Experience, which also introduces major UI changes andbackwards compatibility support (but removes some Kinect functionality), arrives on November 12. Check back with GameSpot later this week to learn more about the update and Microsoft's hopes for it.
As for when background music and keyboard and mouse support might come to Xbox One, it likely won't be until 2016 at the earliest. Microsoft tells GameSpot that the company doesn't have any major feature updates for Xbox One planned for December. That's because the company is instead focusing on keeping Xbox Live and other network services up and running during the busy holiday month.
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