The Steam Controller (and Machines) may have been delayed until 2015, but us gamepad-centric PC gamers still have something to be happy about as today Microsoft has released the official drivers for the Xbox One controller – almost 7 months after the console was released. This replaces the home-brew drivers that had been the only method of using the controller on PC. They are available for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows (no confirmation on windows XP compatibility, but 7 & 8 certainly). It has been confirmed that the drivers will eventually be added to a Windows update, so downloading it here is just a nice way for those of us who can’t wait to get it. The drivers should allow you to use an Xbox One Controller (plugged in to the PC by micro-USB) on any game that supports the 360 controller.
The announcement was made by Xbox’s Larry Hyrb (Major Nelson) on his official blog. Interestingly, the post included an image of an Xbox One controller plugged into a Windows 8 Surface tablet running Halo 2 (which if you aren’t aware has been available on PC since Vista). That game is an odd choice to showcase this feature, as it is quite old and has not had anything said about it recently by Microsoft in any official context. I may be reading too much into this (as I often do), but it almost seems as if Microsoft wants to reminds us that Halo 2 can be played on PC, which is odd since it’s expected to lose support when Games For Windows LIVE shut downs. Could this be a small way to get people talking about Halo 2 in the run up to E3 where a new PC (steam) release could be announced? We’ll see.