Multiplayer gaming has shifted over the last generation of consoles from the person sitting next to you to thousands of potential opponents online. Still, the Xbox 360 was capable of supporting up to four controllers at once therefore allowing a decent size group to game together in the same room.The Xbox One is taking that connectivity a step further, though. Microsoft’s next-gen machine will cope with having up to eight wireless controllers connected at once. And those controllers can be up to 30 feet away from the console.Eight controllers may seem like overkill. I don’t think many games are going to ship with support for 8 players at once sitting there sharing a single TV, although, it does give Codemasters an incentive to develop a brand new Micro Machines game and football fans will be happy. However, I don’t think this is about eight gamers-eight controllers, it’s the potential for peripherals. By allowing so many connections Microsoft has set the Xbox One up to allow a gamer to connect multiple input devices and leave them connected.Microsoft has already stated that Kinect will be used to identify which player is holding a controller, so maybe that feature can be used intelligently with up to eight controllers. Say you have seven friends come over for a Killer Instinct tournament. They could all bring their own controllers, Xbox One can connect to all of them at once, and Kinect just figures out who’s turn it is to fight based on where they are sitting. That sounds like a great system to me if it works, and I’m sure there are other use cases.You also have to consider whether Microsoft did this just because they could, or because they saw a genuinely new use case that they have yet to announce or focus on in any way. One thing is for sure though, peripheral manufacturers will be looking at this and figuring out if there’s any new gadgets they can market to fill up a few of those controller slots.