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Xbox One wireless controller adapter requires Windows 10

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Xbox One wireless adapter for windows

The Xbox One controller has worked with PCs for awhile now, with one caveat: Even though it's a wireless controller, PC compatibility requires that it be connected to your box with a micro-USB cable. You'll soon be able to cast that cable aside, however, as Microsoft announced today that the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows will be released this fall. But there's a catch to that, too.

The Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows will enable users to "enjoy the freedom and convenience of the wireless controller on Windows 10 PCs, laptops, and tablets," according to the full announcement. And therein lies the rub: Microsoft confirmed with Polygon that the bit about Windows 10 isn't just marketing, it's mandatory. The device will not run on previous versions of Windows.

The upside is that Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to anyone currently running Windows 7 or 8. The downside, obviously, is that if you're not in the mood to change OSes, you're out of luck; and the infuriating side is that I currently use a PlayStation 4 controller with my PC very successfully, and in fact we recently declared the DualShock 4 the best controller for PC gaming (opens in new tab) currently on the market. So if some guy on the internet can make a Sony controller work with my Microsoft operating system, why can't Microsoft do the same for its own hardware?

Anyway, never mind me. The Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows—that is, Windows 10—will be out sometime this fall and sell for $25.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.