New information regarding Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One has been revealed, as the new gaming console will allow for players to connect up to eight controllers simultaneously. This new feature doubles the current Xbox 360 limit of four controllers.
Make no mistake, this is a bold move on Microsoft’s end and raises questions as to their plans on how the Xbox One will utilize the feature. Previously, Sony’s Playstation 3 allowed users to connect up to seven devices, via Bluetooth, including controllers. Yesterday, Sony Computer Entertainment’s President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida announced via Twitter that the PlayStation 4 will only support four controllers. While no official reason was given to the downgrade of controller support, one possible reason could have been lack of interest from video game developers.
Aside from a few sport and platform games, the seven player controller feature was a heavily underutilized feature on the PlayStation 3. However, with Xbox One’s overhaul of controller functionality, upgraded Kinect, and SmartGlass technology that enables the Xbox One to be controlled from tablet or mobile phone, this could very well be the push developers need to create games with the kind of interactivity previously unobtainable in older generation consoles.
Also noted was the controller’s infra-red technology, which in conjunction with the Kinect, will allow for “seamless profile and controller pairing,” meaning that the Xbox One will be able to differentiate between players with controllers and will select the appropriate gamer profile for the player. Currently, Microsoft hasn’t released any information as to the games that will support the eight player feature.
Only time will tell if Xbox One’s eight player support becomes yet another useless feature that players didn’t need and game developers never wanted, or will Sony’s decision to drop down to four players give Microsoft the edge it desperately needs early on in the console wars?
What do you think?