Last week, we got a confirmation from Valve that the Xbox One Wireless Adapter for Windows would enable gamers to use their Xbox One controllers wirelessly on a Steam Link and Steam Machine device. But this isn’t the case.
Valve has corrected its original statement, and it now says that wireless-controller dongle for the Xbox One gamepad will not function with any Steam hardware. But that’s not because Valve doesn’t want to support it. Microsoft is advertising the dongle as only working with Windows 10, and that limitation seems like it is built into the hardware. This means that the Wireless Adapter will not work with Windows 7 or Windows 8 let alone Mac, Linux, or SteamOS, which runs Valve’s Steam Machines and Steam Link.
This could represent an obstacle for Valve as it tries to overtake the living room. Any sort of friction between the player and the experience they most desire is going to turn away some people.
We’ve asked Microsoft for a clarification on whether the Windows 10-only support for the dongle will ever change. We’ve also asked for a clarification about why the device is limited in the first place.
This is a bummer for anyone who was planning to combine their Steam Link with the dongle to use the Xbox One controller to play PC games. Of course, you do have plenty of other options with the Link when it comes to inputs.
Valve is making its own Steam Controller, which connects wirelessly to the Link or a Steam Machine through a dongle of its own. And it works with the original Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter for that older gamepad, which is beloved by many PC gaming fans.
Finally, Steam Link also has Bluetooth support, which means you can connect the DualShock 4 — although, Bluetooth often introduces perceivable lag.
We’ll take a closer look at all of these options and share more information and our thoughts about them as we get closer to the official launch of the Steam Link and Steam Machines on November 10.