Microsoft’s New Policy on Third-Party Xbox Accessories is less than smart

In this article, delve into the controversy surrounding Microsoft’s recent policy shift affecting third-party Xbox accessories. Discover the community’s reactions and what this means for gamers.

In a surprising twist, a screenshot taken by an Xbox user made the rounds suggests that, starting from November 12, 2023, Microsoft may no longer allow unauthorized third-party accessories to be used with their Xbox consoles.This decision has sent shockwaves through the gaming community, and it’s not hard to see why.

While Microsoft assures gamers that most licensed gaming headsets and controllers will remain unaffected, there’s a lingering concern about the fate of popular third-party accessories like XIM and Cronus, which have often been used for accessibility purposes. Microsoft’s historical inability to detect such accessories leaves room for speculation.

A spokesperson for Microsoft sent this statement to Windows Central:
“Microsoft and other licensed Xbox hardware partners’ accessories are designed and manufactured with quality standards for performance, security, and safety. Unauthorized accessories can compromise the gaming experience on Xbox consoles (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S.) Players may receive a pop-up warning that their accessory is unauthorized.  Eventually, the unauthorized accessory will be blocked from use to preserve the console gaming experience.  For a full list of accessories that are supported on Xbox consoles, please visit, our support pages here and here, and our Designed for Xbox Partner Hardware Program page here.”

The gaming community is not taking this news lightly. Many players have relied on third-party accessories for a variety of reasons, ranging from affordability to the specialization of peripherals for specific gaming genres. Fighting game enthusiasts, for instance, have long embraced Arcade Sticks and Leverless Sticks, many of which are considered third-party. Those who prefer non-Microsoft controllers often rely on converters to use their preferred devices. This abrupt policy change could be seen as anti-consumer and not in the best interest of the gaming community.

The details regarding the approval process for third-party accessories remain unclear. This lack of transparency has left many gamers concerned, as it might dissuade them from using Xbox products altogether. The backlash from the gaming community has been swift and vocal. Players argue that Microsoft’s decision doesn’t align with a “player-first” philosophy and that it may drive users away from their ecosystem. As the controversy unfolds, the future of third-party accessories on Xbox consoles remains uncertain, and only time will tell if Microsoft decides to revisit this policy.

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