The latest Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the most demanding games ever developed, but because to Microsoft’s cloud, you can now play it on a crappy PC (or an old Xbox One). There’s only one major flaw: you can’t play Xbox with a mouse and keyboard right now because Xbox Cloud Gaming only supports gamepads (and touch) for the time being. But, according to Jorg Neumann, the head of Microsoft Flight Simulator, that’s about to change: mouse and keyboard control is on the way.
Neumann revealed the news in a video Q&A for Flight Simulator (via Windows Central), stating that it will be platform-level support, implying that any Xbox cloud game could theoretically support mouse and keyboard control. Here’s how I transcribed the most important part:
This is a platform level support, so it has nothing to do with us, obviously mouse/keyboard works for our sim. So the platform team is working on this, and no I can’t give a date because it’s the platform team. I don’t know their dates, but it’s coming, and we are also talking about making touch work.
While Neumann isn’t sure when it’ll be released, he thinks it’ll be this summer:
I would say it’s in the next months, it’s not weeks, and it might be… I’m hoping it will be done by June or so, but I can’t ever tell. Everybody wants it, I want it, and so… it’s coming.
He further speculates that Flight Simulator would include touch and perhaps gyro control, allowing you to tilt your phone to fly. “The gyro is actually quite fantastic,” he explains, “so you can immerse yourself more in the experience of flying a plane.”
The Xbox PR team did not deny that a mouse and keyboard are on the way. Here’s what spokesperson Adam Pannel has to say:
At launch, “Microsoft Flight Simulator” supports standard controller inputs for cloud gaming. The team is experimenting with touch/gyro and is excited to embrace M&K once it’s available on the platform but we have no specific announcements or timing to share at this time.
For me, the prospect of playing Halo Infinite on the move with mouse and keyboard control, like I do on my home PC, and maybe via Steam Deck, excites me. Because web browsers didn’t fully identify the Steam Deck‘s gamepad at the time of review, Xbox Cloud Gaming didn’t work at all, but I was able to get Google Stadia to work because that cloud service does support mouse and keyboard — and the Steam Deck can readily simulate a keyboard and mouse. It’s also equipped with a gyroscope.
With Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision and concentration on building up Xbox as a service, it’ll be fascinating to see how much money the company puts into cloud gaming, especially if Google has downplayed its opponent.
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