Microsoft is launching a slew of new hardware accessories on Tuesday, including an Xbox controller built specifically for Windows. Other devices include new mice and a keyboard made for any kind of tablet, including an iPad.
Microsoft is also upgrading its sleek and extremely portable Arc Mouse with Bluetooth 4.0 (a.k.a. Bluetooth Smart) technology. The mouse, which bends to match the curve of your hand but can flatten out when it's time to slip it into a bag, should need a fresh pair of AAA batteries far less often than the previous model, thanks to the new wireless tech.
You will, however, need Windows 8 or later (or Windows RT) to use the new Arc Mouse. It'll be available in September The Xbox controller for Windows is distinct from the original in one very obvious respect: the long USB cable that stems from it to connect to a PC or tablet. The controller is still compatible with the Xbox, though, and you can connect to the console either via the cable or wirelessly (the cable can detach). It has infrared LEDs that can be sensed by the Kinect, and it'll work with other Xbox gear, including the Charge Kit or Chat Headset.
If you've been holding out from upgrading to Windows 8.1, you're in luck: The controller is compatible with Windows 7, too. It will work as long as your machine has a powered USB port. Priced at $59.95, the controller is coming in November.
A new Universal Mobile Keyboard is made to work with any tablet of your choosing — and that includes Android and iOS devices. Able to switch between three different devices quickly, the Bluetooth keyboard has a protective cover that doubles as a stand for the tablet, and they keyboard automatically turns on when you open it.
Microsoft says the keyboard has "seamless" functionality with each platform's unique keys, including the Command key on OS X/iOS and the Home button on Android. Microsoft rates the built-in battery to last six months on a single charge. The keyboard is coming in October for $79.95.