Microsoft is going to stop you from using your favourite third-party “unauthorised” controller. From November 12, any effort to circumvent Microsoft’s complete control over the way that you play your games will be met with “error 0x82d60002.”
Yep. It wasn’t enough that Microsoft is buying every developer and publisher, and leveraging its exploitative Game Pass to ruin any independent game development model by ripping the margins out from the entire industry. Now they’re coming for your favourite controllers too, so you’ll be forced to use their ugly and uncomfortable hardware instead.
According to a report (or piece of sycophantic damage control, I’m honestly not sure which) on Windows Central, the reason for this is “likely” to do with Microsoft relaxing its policies around “officially licensing” hardware so that third party manufacturers can finally make wireless stuff for the Xbox, officially. Yes, in 2023, the reason most official third-party hardware on the Xbox is wired is because Microsoft came up with nonsense reasons to prevent wireless connections.
Of course, what it’s actually about is control. Microsoft wants to control everything on its platform, even when it doesn’t have a legal or ethical right to do so. Third-party controllers are an excellent source of innovation and, simply, quality. I use my 8BitDo controllers for as much as I can, for example, because I find their design more comfortable than most “official” controllers, and I like 8BitDo’s approach to buttons and the tactile feeling that I get from those controllers.
Elsewhere, third party manufacturers have done incredible work making controllers that promote accessibility, and those that have interesting features to make games more generally enjoyable.
Microsoft, meanwhile, wants complete control over everything from how games are made to how they are played. This is what informs its monopolistic approach to acquisitions. It’s what drives its “innovation”, and leads business decisions like this.
Microsoft is not a benign company. It is a plague on this entire industry, and it has done more to kill the inventiveness and creativity of the industry than any other company.
I cannot stand Microsoft.