Windows gaming fans and Xbox gaming fans might argue about whose platform is better, but they generally agree on Microsoft’s controllers. Until now, though, if you’ve wanted to use an Xbox One gamepad with your Windows PC or tablet, you’ll have had to plug in a microUSB cable.
Sometimes that works out okay – it certainly does away with issues of charging the gamepad – but wireless can definitely be easier if your PC is in an unusual place or just too far away from where you want to game.
Microsoft is answering that shortcoming with the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows. A USB 2.0 dongle that plugs into your Windows machine and then pairs with a Microsoft controller, it could mean ergonomic salvation for many gamers, but there are a few things to bear in mind.
It’s Windows 10 only
Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, has opted to support Windows 10 and, according to the adapter’s product page, nothing earlier. On the one hand that makes sense, as Windows 10 should provide the best experience for both playing games on the PC and streaming them from an Xbox One.
Still, if you’re on Windows 8.1 or earlier, you’re out of luck – at least with this particular dongle. There’s an Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter for Windows that works with earlier versions of the OS (and, according to some gamers, with Windows 10 too), that supports cutting the cord for the venerable Xbox 360 gamepad.
It’ll only work with Microsoft’s Xbox controller
If the old pad isn’t to your taste, and you won’t settle for anything other than the Xbox One controller, then this new adapter is your only route.
In fact, it’ll play nicely with the Xbox One Wireless Controller or Xbox Wireless Controller. Obviously you’ll need to budget for one of those on top of the adapter itself, and third-party controllers don’t get a look-in.
It’s coming October 20th
If you’re still onboard, you don’t have long to wait. Microsoft says the wireless adapter will go on sale later this month, landing for $25 on October 20th.
It’ll work with any Windows 10 machine that has a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port, which includes the latest Microsoft Surface Book.