So, this is an intriguing discussion. The Xbox One doesn’t support a keyboard and mouse in games for now, but it’s in the works. The PS4 features native support for a keyboard and mouse in the system menus, and even has its own officially endorsed gear for those games that allow it – but Overwatch doesn’t. What some people do instead then, is use third-party devices like this one to enable keyboard and mouse support on console, whether or not that version of the game was designed for it.
Is that cheating?
Whatever it is, Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan isn’t super happy about the situation. In a Battle.net thread claiming that the majority of the game’s top ranked console players are using input converters, he explained that “the Overwatch team objects to the use of mouse and keyboard on console”, presumably because of the improved precision and consequent balancing issues, and that the studio has been in contact with both Sony and Microsoft about it.
“We have lobbied and will continue to lobby for first-party console manufacturers to either disallow mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices or openly and easily support mouse and keyboard for all players,” he added.
Up to now, one of the biggest advantages of console gaming over PC gaming has been the level playing field, so to speak. Without the incalculable variations of hardware upgrades and expensive peripherals that can boost game performance on PC, for example, players on console were mostly separated by skill. With the recent advent of the PS4 Pro and the incoming Xbox One Project Scorpio, however, and more games including cross-platform play with PC, that’s obviously changing somewhat.
I’m with Kaplan on this one, though. Until both consoles support a keyboard and mouse for everybody, or perhaps the game can divide players according to their input method, I think this is a totally legitimate concern.