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Xbox One controller gets Windows drivers

Xbox One controller gets Windows drivers

Official drivers have been released that add support for the Xbox One controller to Windows, although currently only when tethered via a micro-USB cable.

Microsoft has released the first official drivers for pairing the Xbox One controller with a Windows PC, as it opens pre-orders for the Kinect for Windows v2 depth-sensing camera platform.

Microsoft's presence in the console market leaves it spinning two plates at once: while it's keen for the console itself to succeed, it's also aware that its bread and butter comes from the Windows operating system and supporting ecosystem. As a result, it frequently takes technologies originally developed for the Xbox line and ports them across to its Windows brand - as with the original Xbox 360 gamepad, which remains one of the most popular controllers among PC gamers next to the traditional keyboard and mouse, and the Kinect for Windows camera system.

Now, the company has released the first standalone driver package for adding Xbox One controller compatibility to Windows. Switching from the Xbox 360 pad to the Xbox One, Microsoft claims, brings with it increased comfort, a better directional pad and the improved offset analogue sticks. Better still, the similarity between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers mean that any game set up to recognise its predecessor will automatically work just fine with the Xbox One pad without reconfiguration.

Sadly, at present only the controller's tethered mode of operation is supported: anyone wanting to use the Xbox One controller with their PC or Windows-based tablet will need to connect a micro-USB cable between the two. Although this means no concerns about the battery running down during a gaming session, it's not exactly ergonomic compared to the controller's default wireless mode.

At the same time, Microsoft has opened pre-orders for the Windows version of the Kinect 2 depth-sensing camera system which launched with the Xbox One. Boasting a higher resolution than its predecessor and the ability to read a person's pulse rate remotely, the Windows variant is being offered to developers for £159 with a view to shipping following the new software development kit's launch in July.

The drivers are available for direct download in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions on Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb's website, while Kinect for Windows v2 pre-orders are available on the Microsoft Store.

11 Comments

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ZeDestructor 6th June 2014, 11:11 Quote
Quote:
it's not exactly ergonomic compared to the controller's default wireless mode.

Say wut?

MicroUSB cables aren't exactly inflexible in the same way a 24-pin ATX power cable is.

Seriously, how exactly is pluggin a USB cable at the top uncomfortable?
Guinevere 6th June 2014, 11:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
Seriously, how exactly is pluggin a USB cable at the top uncomfortable?

I think 'ergonomic' was maybe the wrong word to use. Would 'convenient' be better? Probably not.

Personally I understand the intent of the articles statement in that having to use a cable isn't as flexible as being able to use wireless or wired modes. It doesn't change the ergonomics of the controller but some people will moan about having to use a fixed length wire and using a cable may 'force' them to sit in less than optimal position.
Gareth Halfacree 6th June 2014, 11:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
Say wut? MicroUSB cables aren't exactly inflexible in the same way a 24-pin ATX power cable is. Seriously, how exactly is pluggin a USB cable at the top uncomfortable?
I don't know about you, but the only micro-USB cables I've got lying around here are around 30cm long. Perhaps you don't mind being scrunched up next to your monitor, but I'd prefer to use a wireless controller, kick back and relax while I'm playing. Then there's the joy of the USB cable coming loose during gameplay - it's not a locking connector, y'know...
ZeDestructor 6th June 2014, 11:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
I think 'ergonomic' was maybe the wrong word to use. Would 'convenient' be better? Probably not.

Personally I understand the intent of the articles statement in that having to use a cable isn't as flexible as being able to use wireless or wired modes. It doesn't change the ergonomics of the controller but some people will moan about having to use a fixed length wire and using a cable may 'force' them to sit in less than optimal position.

I guess convenience is a factor..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I don't know about you, but the only micro-USB cables I've got lying around here are around 30cm long. Perhaps you don't mind being scrunched up next to your monitor, but I'd prefer to use a wireless controller, kick back and relax while I'm playing. Then there's the joy of the USB cable coming loose during gameplay - it's not a locking connector, y'know...

All of mine are around 1.5m.. (granted, I did accidentally order 10 such cables that one time) plenty for when I'm at my desktop. TV gameplay requires somewhat longer cables, sure, but still, it's not like one can't find those either.

As for coming loos, that just means prime time to get a new cable. On the other hand, no more of that broken internal wires nonsense of captive cables, so IMO a definite plus vs captive cables. Oh, and much easier to store since I can wrap the cable properly and avoid flexing at the connector instead of wrapping it around the controller as one would usually do.
schmidtbag 6th June 2014, 14:49 Quote
I'm happy to know this will work with games that require an xbox 360 controller - I was holding off on buying one of these controllers until I knew for sure that would work.

While tethering isn't really a big deal to me (I have USB extension cords), are there any non-wireless options you can buy? They tend to be cheaper and cords don't bother me that much.

I'd get a 360 controller but I'm not sure if newer PC games will be compatible with it.
ZeDestructor 6th June 2014, 15:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
I think 'ergonomic' was maybe the wrong word to use. Would 'convenient' be better? Probably not.

Personally I understand the intent of the articles statement in that having to use a cable isn't as flexible as being able to use wireless or wired modes. It doesn't change the ergonomics of the controller but some people will moan about having to use a fixed length wire and using a cable may 'force' them to sit in less than optimal position.
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
I'm happy to know this will work with games that require an xbox 360 controller - I was holding off on buying one of these controllers until I knew for sure that would work.

While tethering isn't really a big deal to me (I have USB extension cords), are there any non-wireless options you can buy? They tend to be cheaper and cords don't bother me that much.

I'd get a 360 controller but I'm not sure if newer PC games will be compatible with it.

From what we've seen so far in terms of announcements, no. (I think MS confirmed that too, but I can't say for sure).

Maybe one with bundled cord, but that's it.
xaser04 7th June 2014, 12:17 Quote
Tried this out yesterday on my pc and it works expected (in other words like a 360 controller). The lead is irrelevant for me as I use a wired 360 pad normally. The cable you get with the play and charge kit is also about a mile long so no issues there.

The only downside I found is that the controller needed to be synced again with the Xbone before I could use it. I don't know if this is a bug with the current driver or by design. No biggy though.
RichCreedy 7th June 2014, 16:18 Quote
the xbox one controller play and charge has a lead about 3 meters long
TrevDX 7th June 2014, 17:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaser04
Tried this out yesterday on my pc and it works expected (in other words like a 360 controller). The lead is irrelevant for me as I use a wired 360 pad normally. The cable you get with the play and charge kit is also about a mile long so no issues there.

The only downside I found is that the controller needed to be synced again with the Xbone before I could use it. I don't know if this is a bug with the current driver or by design. No biggy though.

Time to get a new Xbox One controller so I don't have to keep re-syncing then....

Since playing games with the One controller the 360 pad hasn't quite felt right :/
SchizoFrog 8th June 2014, 10:00 Quote
Apart from the situation where you don't already have 360 controllers for use with the PC I don't see then benefit here. What do the XBOne controllers offer (especially for PC) that the 360 doesn't? If I had the XBOne, as long as they (360 pads) continue to work I think I would still keep the 360 pads for the PC and then there is no issue using the XBOne pads for the console, especially now as they are not wireless compatible as of yet. Which brings up the second issue, I think Microsoft is being extremely slack with regards to driver support here. They knew how poplar the 360 pads were with PC gamers and to not have a driver sorted by now is lame. How much more difficult is it to get the driver to support wireless use?
SexyHyde 9th June 2014, 23:59 Quote
Reason to upgrade from wireless 360 pad is?
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