Microsoft had a lot to announce at its X019 event in London today. But one of the strangest tidbits is that you will soon be able to use Sony’s DualShock 4 gamepad for the PlayStation 4 with Xbox games.
Starting next year, Microsoft’s Project xCloud streaming tech is getting support for more controllers. Those include third-party peripherals from well-known manufacturers. It also includes Sony’s controller as well.
“Enabling people to play games on the device of their choice goes beyond a phone or tablet. It extends into how you control the game,” Project xCloud boss Kareem Choudry writes in a blog post. “In addition to using an Xbox One wireless controller, we’ll expand support to more Bluetooth controllers beginning next year. That includes the DualShock 4 wireless controller and gamepads from Razer.”
Microsoft didn’t say exactly how this is going to work. For example, will PlayStation-style button prompts begin showing up in games streaming from the Xbox cloud? Xbox Game Pass games on PC already work with DualShock 4, so this is likely an expansion of that. Still, Project xCloud uses racks of Xbox One S systems, so it’s still strange to think about a DualShock 4 controlling an Xbox.
But this official support for a competing controller is part of Microsoft’s recent tendency to be more open and accommodating to players. The company just wants people to get into the Xbox ecosystem through Game Pass, buying a console, or playing on PC. And the only reason to prohibit people from using a DualShock 4 on xCloud is to potentially sell more Xbox One Wireless Controllers.
And accessories make a lot of money for companies like Microsoft. Despite that, it has decided that giving players yet another choice is worth more.