Microsoft’s new Xbox Wireless Controller includes built-in Bluetooth so it can connect with gaming PCs. But there’s a whole ecosystem of Xbox hardware that uses Xbox Wireless technology, so Microsoft is allowing hardware makers to add this componentry to their gaming PCs too
“At Xbox, we’re continuously exploring new ways for you to get the most out of your gaming experiences by providing you with the choice to play how you want, where you want,” Microsoft’s Will Tuttle explains. “Since the launch of the Xbox One, gamers have had the choice to use their accessories wired or wirelessly with their console, and we’ve expanded those options to Windows PCs with the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows, and more recently, the new Xbox Wireless Controller with built-in Bluetooth.”
But here’s the thing about that new Xbox Wireless Controller: When you connect it to an Xbox One console, it still uses the proprietary Xbox Wireless technology; Bluetooth is only for PC connectivity. (And is a nice convenience compared to using a USB cable or an Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows, each of which would also get the job done.)
More to the point, Xbox Wireless is better than Bluetooth. It offers low latency, supports up to 8 controllers and other devices at a time, and supports wireless headsets with stereo sound (through the controller). So Microsoft is allowing gaming PC makers to add Xbox Wireless capabilities to their PCs.
The first out the door is the Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube but I know of other PCs that will be announced very soon as well. According to Microsoft, the first implementations will essentially be an Xbox Wireless Adapter and integrated inside the physical chassis of the PC, but the firm plans to enable direct integration of Xbox Wireless into PC motherboards going forward too.
And it’s not just PCs. Microsoft is also working with gaming hardware device makers such as Astro, HyperX, Lenovo, Mad Catz, PDP, Plantronics, Razer, SteelSeries, Turtle Beach, and others to build Xbox Wireless capabilities into their headsets, joysticks, and other devices devices.
“Just look for the Xbox Wireless logo on the box to know that the PC or accessory will work seamlessly within the ecosystem,” Microsoft notes.