Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Console games do not support mouse&keyboard

Game consoles can be quite convenient for many people, as they are much less hassle to use and to play games than a PC. They are pretty much "plug&play". They also tend to be cheaper than a PC with comparable capabilities and accessories. Oftentimes they also have pretty good exclusive games, which isn't something to dismiss lightly. For these and many other reasons consoles are not just for casual gamers, but also much more "hard-core" gamers (even those who are also avid PC players).

There is one thing, however, that annoys me about consoles quite a lot: Games made for them deliberately lack support for keyboard&mouse controls.

These are often the exact same games that on the PC have full support for keyboard&mouse, or optionally a game controller. The exact same games on the consoles, however, deliberately lack support. There is no technical reason why they shouldn't support them. The hardware and the operating system supports them just fine. The games just don't, period.

But why? Who knows.

Some people argue that this gives an unfair advantage in multiplayer games. That doesn't explain why they can't be supported in single-player games and single-player campaign modes. You are not playing against anybody in these games and modes. There just is absolutely no reason to not support keyboard&mouse, especially since the PC version of the exact same game does have the support.

Sometimes this lack of support goes to baffling lengths. The web browser provided with the PS4 is cursor-based. You use a cursor just like normal, in order to browse, just like you would do on any PC. Except that the browser, for a reason that nobody can explain, has no mouse support. There is literally zero reason why it couldn't support the mouse. It just doesn't. For unknown reasons.

I can't understand why. The operating system of the console supports and detects any USB mouse connected to it just fine. However, almost no game, and no software supports it. (AFAIK there exist one or two obscure games for the PS4 that do support keyboard&mouse, but that's it. From the thousands and thousands of titles available for the system, only one or two have support.)

First-person shooters are much more comfortable and fluent to play with keyboard&mouse. For the consoles, the developers often need to add aids and anti-frustration measures to counter the limitations of the controller. But they won't enable keyboard&mouse. It's inexplicable.

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