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Xbox One wireless controller adapter requires Windows 10

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 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 Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.