PC owners have been anxiously awaiting the release of drivers to enable the Xbox One controller to use with their games. Some even went so far as to create their own custom drivers. However, Microsoft finally released the drivers Thursday along with a little bit of a “Halo 2” tease.
Xbox Director of Programming Larry Hyrb posted the Windows x86 (link) and x64 (link) drivers for the Xbox One controller on his MajorNelson blog for download. The drivers were originally planned to be released as part of an upcoming Windows update. However, the decision was made to give an early access preview to PC gamers.
“We know our fans have wanted PC compatibility, and we know they wanted to be able to use the Xbox One controller with the same games and applications they have been playing with using the Xbox 360 controller,” Hyrb wrote. “We can’t wait for them to play their favorite PC games with what we consider the best controller ever made and we’re excited for fans to experience the improved D-pad, redesigned battery compartment, new comfortable design and offset analog sticks.
“The new PC drivers will enable the Xbox One controller to be used with any game that featured gamepad support for the Xbox 360 controller. Simply download the drivers, connect your Xbox One controller to your computer through a micro USB cable and you’ll be gaming in no time,” he explained.
That last sentence is key sentence with the Xbox One controller. It can currently only be connected to a PC with a micro USB cable. Xbox Head Phil Spencer previously hinted that a wireless option will eventually be made available but wired is the only option for now. That case was similar with the Xbox 360 for a while before the wireless dongle was released, however, the major difference was that only controllers created for the PC could be plugged in. The release of the dongle allowed the console only controllers to be used as well.
Also key was the display of an image showing the Xbox One controller hooked up to a Surface tablet that just so happens to be showing “Halo 2” playing. Is that something to get excited about? What’s being shown is the old PC port of the game as Hyrb said on NeoGAF that people "reading too much into my intention. 'Halo 2 Vista' is what I had available to test the controller."
It's understandable why people were excited at the image though. There are rumors that either “Halo 2 HD Anniversary” or a “Master Chief Collection” will be announced at Microsoft’s E3 press conference on Monday, June 9 at 12:30 p.m. EDT / 9:30 a.m. PDT.