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  1. #1

    Why console manufacturer won't include keyboard and mouse support?

    Disclaimer: This is not a PC vs Console thread, both have their own advantages and both have their drawbacks. Players will choose the best that fit them.

    I just trying to wrap my head around this concept. We are in 2012, not 1970's anymore. Why during this 40 years+ of living room gaming (console) evolution, they are never been attempt to include some keyboard and mouse support for the console. It would seems something easy to do, just include some driver in their operating system to undestand generic keyboard and mouse. The game developper would be free to use or not the instruction for these peripherals.

    I know microsoft recognize the lack of keyboard for console and introduce a small keyboard that you can plug just under your pad. But why just don't include a standard keyboard support, either wireless or USB (or both). But there are to my knowledge no official support for mouse on console.

    This was one of my main problem when i bought my pack XBoX360 + CoD4:MW a few years back, and yet, years have gone by, still no keyboard + mouse support. I still don't understand a good reason behind this design decision.

    The only reason i could think of are

    - console manufacturer don't want you to be unconfortable, that is using mouse and keyboard on couch isn't confortable. This argument seems rather bad in my eye.

    - More cynically, i though maybe they don't allow mouse and keyboard support because they want to sell their own peripherals, they don't want you to use cheap generic keyboard.

    But these reason feels bad to me, there have to be more to it, something i don't see.
    So why do you think there are no mouse and keyboard on console, if only as a secondary controler, not a main controler like on PC.


    Again, please, this is not a PC VS console thread, just an opinion thread about console controller or lack thereof.

  2. #2
    Didn't the Dreamcast have Keyboard and Mouse support? I distinctly remember playing Unreal Tournament with that set-up while my friends used the normal controllers. It was 1v3 and I owned them. And I wasn't even that good at UT back in the day!

    I think you might have missed another reason: keyboard and mouse give players much more fine control than joysticks for tasks like aiming in games. It's one of the reasons you don't see games with multiplayer options that allow for both console and computer players to play on the same servers. The ones who tried (I recall Shadowrun tried that a while ago) didn't do very well. Meanwhile, for fighting games and other twitch key-combo based games the keyboard and mouse would be next to useless. So no one can be assed to develop the proper peripheral support for something so few people would use (I know some single-player RPGs could REALLY use mouse support to help navigate menus and so on).
    Trying to argue anything with any sort of nuance over Twitter is the intellectual equivalent of trying to trying to squeeze a cow through a keyhole. Sure, you might even be able to do it with enough brute force, and whatever comes out the other side might even still be considered to be "cow" in the technical sense, but it will be so mangled as to be completely unrecognizable.

  3. #3
    i never owned a dreamcast, so you could be right.

    I did start gaming on sega master system, then megadrive, N64, then near full time PC and lately mix PC/Xbox360.

    I understand, offering mouse and keyboard support on console would make it near impossible to be competitive in shooting game online with a pad. So forcing controller on everyone is a way to level the playfield. I get it.

    Make some kind of sens, but actually it does not. If anything, console manufacturer would just love introduce a way to sell more peripherals, or licence the right to sell peripherals to their system, make more money out of it. There has to be another reason.

  4. #4
    That reason is a mix of tradition and economics. They don't need to develop and market their new peripherals, because they don't feel a need to. There's not enough market share for it to be profitable enough. Console FPS players already do fine with joysticks. The ones who use mouse and keyboard are probably already playing on PCs and have no intention of switching to consoles even if the controls were the same. The few console games that would make good use of keyboard+mouse are not enough to warrant it.

    So, let's sum it up, my points and yours:
    - Ergonomics. A keyboard and mouse are two separate peripherals that need to be placed upon surfaces to work properly. Joysticks are purely handheld, so you can just pick it up and play standing up if you want to.
    - Economics. Developing hardware and software would be an extra cost to the companies, for a relatively small profit. It would also add to the range of parts they would have to provide support and repairs to, which is a level of overhead most companies just hate pushing up.
    - Competitive advantages. Mouse and keyboard would be mandatory for some games, and useless for others. That's bad design for peripherals, because you'd need to have mouse, keyboard and joystick associated to a single console to be able to play all games to the best of your ability.
    - Tradition. For a lot of people keyboards are for PCs and that's that. There would be natural resistance to that sort of addition, even on an entirely new console.

    But please, do not take me wrong. I'm a PC user at heart, but I would simply love to be able to buy a console and not have to worry about upgrading my computer every six months to keep up with the new releases, and not need to care about drivers, hardware conflicts and unstable OSs. I would be extremely happy if I could have a console-like standardized computer with a 5-year life cycle that software (not just game!) companies developed with its specs in mind. Well, technically I already had some of that on my old Mac, but that's a can of worms I'm not going to open here. :P
    Trying to argue anything with any sort of nuance over Twitter is the intellectual equivalent of trying to trying to squeeze a cow through a keyhole. Sure, you might even be able to do it with enough brute force, and whatever comes out the other side might even still be considered to be "cow" in the technical sense, but it will be so mangled as to be completely unrecognizable.

  5. #5
    Afaik Dreamcast didn't have keyboard/mouse support, but it was like 10 years since I played on it.

    OnT: I don't think it has been implemented because that would pretty much make consoles an underpowered computer.
    "The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived." -Oscar Wilde

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Holtzmann View Post
    That reason is a mix of tradition and economics. They don't need to develop and market their new peripherals, because they don't feel a need to. There's not enough market share for it to be profitable enough. Console FPS players already do fine with joysticks. The ones who use mouse and keyboard are probably already playing on PCs and have no intention of switching to consoles even if the controls were the same. The few console games that would make good use of keyboard+mouse are not enough to warrant it.

    So, let's sum it up, my points and yours:
    - Ergonomics. A keyboard and mouse are two separate peripherals that need to be placed upon surfaces to work properly. Joysticks are purely handheld, so you can just pick it up and play standing up if you want to.
    - Economics. Developing hardware and software would be an extra cost to the companies, for a relatively small profit. It would also add to the range of parts they would have to provide support and repairs to, which is a level of overhead most companies just hate pushing up.
    - Competitive advantages. Mouse and keyboard would be mandatory for some games, and useless for others. That's bad design for peripherals, because you'd need to have mouse, keyboard and joystick associated to a single console to be able to play all games to the best of your ability.
    - Tradition. For a lot of people keyboards are for PCs and that's that. There would be natural resistance to that sort of addition, even on an entirely new console.

    But please, do not take me wrong. I'm a PC user at heart, but I would simply love to be able to buy a console and not have to worry about upgrading my computer every six months to keep up with the new releases, and not need to care about drivers, hardware conflicts and unstable OSs. I would be extremely happy if I could have a console-like standardized computer with a 5-year life cycle that software (not just game!) companies developed with its specs in mind. Well, technically I already had some of that on my old Mac, but that's a can of worms I'm not going to open here. :P


    First, thanks for the informative discussion.


    Allow me to play devil advocate for a while.

    I could argue that the guitar/drum kit/microphone for guitar hero / rock band / Sing star games are also kind of a niche controler, only for one type of game. Probably even narower niche thus, it did happe, creating controller for only one type of game.

    In the same way, i remember some pretty unusual controller on the PS2, special quizz game controler, a floor mat for dancing game, a camera, a gun you aim directly at screen... pretty out there as far as special controller goes. so why never such a common controller as keyboard and mouse.

    Wii has accelerometer in there wiimote and a scale. How weird to have a scale as a controller.

    Also, even if they don't want to develop the hardware, it probably not expensive to include some mouse driver in there operating system, for the game develloper to exploit. Either to use generic cheap mouse and keyboard or let manufacturer (logitech...) devellop specific PS3 or Xbox keyboard and mouse.

    I could even see it sold in pack with a new popular FPS.


    Therefore, i understand they want the console gamers to use their controller, what i don't understand is why? Why don't they want to give the option?

  7. #7
    Immortal Soisoisoi's Avatar
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    As said above, level playing field (a mouse in an FPS would obliterate any controller) and you have to buy their products instead of any old cheap mouse/keyboard. It's simple business, keep people happy AND make money.

  8. #8
    Bloodsail Admiral Sturmbringe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    We are in 2012, not 1970's anymore. Why during this 40 years+ of living room gaming (console) evolution, they are never been attempt to include some keyboard and mouse support for the console.
    My Philips Videopack gaming console back in 1988 did have a keyboard. So, you are quite wrong in your assertion that gaming consoles never had a keyboard.

    NINJA TURTLES as the next playable WoW race/class combo. WoW has got Kung Fu Pandas, Pokemon and recently even Transformers in it, so I don't see how Ninja Turtles would be any less pathetic than current "WoW" is.

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    Therefore, i understand they want the console gamers to use their controller, what i don't understand is why? Why don't they want to give the option?
    Beats me. My only guess is that console players like console peripherals and PC players like PC peripherals or so the companies that produce that hardware want it to be. If anything, it brings a certain identity to their consoles (nah, it's bunk).

    But keep in mind that the peripherals you listed there are usually for very specific games. Releasing those peripherals has always been a calculated gamble by most game companies (one that occasionally fails) to try and get the players to buy more stuff. Mouse and keyboard would be fully generic, which places them on an entirely different league in terms of making money.

    Also, the gaming peripherals are usually set so you can use them standing up (like the guitars and dancing mats) or either sitting down or standing up (the light guns), while the mouse and keyboard would pretty much confine you to a chair and table or couch and wooden plank set-up. Ergonomics again.
    Trying to argue anything with any sort of nuance over Twitter is the intellectual equivalent of trying to trying to squeeze a cow through a keyhole. Sure, you might even be able to do it with enough brute force, and whatever comes out the other side might even still be considered to be "cow" in the technical sense, but it will be so mangled as to be completely unrecognizable.

  10. #10
    Ps3 Support keyboards (for typing) and have Mouse-gadget for sootres.

  11. #11
    You can plug a USB keyboard to a 360 just fine.

  12. #12
    there is the letter and there is the intent.
    You know what i tried to say here, but let's address those anyway.

    Sturmbringe: although it says computer on the picture, even if we consider it as a console, i'll try to stay relevant to the most popular console. That is all the way from master system / NES to the modern PS3/360.

    Omnistribe/Sensei_Sin: Got it, you can plug a keyboard in those console. That is not the essence of my post. It feels like you believe i'm attacking console and you must defend them. I am not i am really not. The couple keyboard/mouse (and i mean a true mouse, not a mouse that simulate anolog stick, i tried those on 360), i have not seen this couple on console and, now that shooter, RTS and even MMO game start to become popular on console, i wonder why.


    Treelife: I get the level playfield argument. I have no illusion of manufacturer being good samaritan, here to make sure all is fait and square in the gaming world. They are company that only exist to make money. Theyt have a savoir faire, crafting gaming machine and use it to make money. Somewhere, on some study must have found out that if they developp tru keyboard and mouse support, they are gonna loose money. I don't know why, i don't see the reasoning.

    Game that could profit mouse (non exhaustive )
    - FPS
    - RTS
    - MMORPG
    - economics games (suffling through menu and table is easier with mouse)
    - some 3rd person action game as well (max payne comes to mind)


    So we can ask ourself (or the manufacturer)
    Are we happy with the current state of affair, that is play the console game with analog stick, nothing else, or should we puch gaming to the next evolution, give freedom to choose to player?

  13. #13
    Legendary! Orlong's Avatar
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    I think it would be a good idea to design console games around a keyboard and mouse and give you one when you buy a new system. This would make PC games better as well since they usually design them for consoles then port them to PCs which make them clunky to play. I think the main reason they dont use keyboards and mice is a large portion of console gamers dont have the mental acuity to use a keyboard and mouse. Theyve used controllers for many years and are unwilling to learn how to use a new control mechanism. Kind of like a senior citizen trying to use a smart phone.

    People who play consoles also dont seem to like complex games with lots of control and options. They want games that are easy (for single player campaigns). They want games that can be beaten within a week of purchase and have their hands held the whole way through via easy difficulty options. They dont want to play games that require more than 8 buttons. Even good games like Skyrim would be better if they were designed with a PC in mind and not released on consoles that dont have a keyboard and mouse capability. The interface was obviously a console interface as it was clunky.

    When they do make a game that has detailed advanced features only about 5% of the players actually use them like for instance in Madden NFL games, I dont know a single person who designs their own plays and uses them with a made from scratch team using all created characters. Using a mouse would be great to design plays as you could trace the routes you want your receivers to take. They just want to turn it on, pick their favorite team and play a season with it, or play a game over the internet against another player
    Last edited by Orlong; 2012-12-06 at 02:51 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    Omnistribe/Sensei_Sin: Got it, you can plug a keyboard in those console. That is not the essence of my post. It feels like you believe i'm attacking console and you must defend them. I am not i am really not. The couple keyboard/mouse (and i mean a true mouse, not a mouse that simulate anolog stick, i tried those on 360), i have not seen this couple on console and, now that shooter, RTS and even MMO game start to become popular on console, i wonder why.
    I believe you may be reading a tone in those posts that does not exist.

    They do not appear to feel you are attacking a console, nor do they appear to be defending.

    They pointed out that both consoles support at basic a keyboard by default (at dashboard level).

    The point you should take from this is that Sony/Microsoft already support the devices and you should be asking why the games developers don't. They are the reason the items aren't used.

    Personally I keep a usb keyboard handy for use with either my 360 or PS3 as needed. I don't know of any games that I feel would be better with a keyboard though.
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    LFR justifies the creation of more raid content when millions of players are able to see content. Only a few thousand people actually saw Kel'thuzad, but millions saw Deathwing. The reason Mists of Pandaria is starting with 18 bosses and adding larger raid tiers than we have had previously is because many players are going to see the raids through LFR.
    So Hardcore elitest raiders trying to get LFR removed are in fact essentially trying to kill off their own content!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by tenaka30 View Post
    I believe you may be reading a tone in those posts that does not exist.

    They do not appear to feel you are attacking a console, nor do they appear to be defending.

    They pointed out that both consoles support at basic a keyboard by default (at dashboard level).

    The point you should take from this is that Sony/Microsoft already support the devices and you should be asking why the games developers don't. They are the reason the items aren't used.

    Personally I keep a usb keyboard handy for use with either my 360 or PS3 as needed. I don't know of any games that I feel would be better with a keyboard though.
    ok, i accept that ^^

    I think the most important in the couple keyboard/mouse is the mouse, i don't think, correct me if i'm wrong, there is any support for mouse on modern console (as in matching exactly the movement of my hand, not simulating an analog stick).


    But the question stands. Why?

    Why, Oh why, no mouse control on console game? Is that such an heresy? an abomination?
    Last edited by Vankrys; 2012-12-06 at 02:26 PM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Crysthalica View Post
    Afaik Dreamcast didn't have keyboard/mouse support, but it was like 10 years since I played on it.

    OnT: I don't think it has been implemented because that would pretty much make consoles an underpowered computer.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twElwjYpaKI

    dunno if they allowed normal mouse/keyboard.

  17. #17
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  18. #18
    not sure what warcraftmew is trying to say, perhaps worth mentioning the amiga 500 or Atari ST, both were family computer, that is computer that can be plugged directly on televison and often use womewhat as a console.

  19. #19
    Consoles are all about a standard unit and providing support only for official devices. It makes the games so much easier to develop. If you add official support for board'n'mouse then the games have to be designed to support official peripherals.

    That costs money.

    The trick I find is to have a nice graphics card and plug the PC into the TV using HDMI. Wireless keyboard and mouse work just fine.

    Of course, this isn't a solution for everybody.

    Which is kind of the point, there's not enough people who'd buy/use keyboards/mice to make it worth while providing support. And this is business, so money talks.

  20. #20
    Even though people have figured out a way to use a mouse and keyboard for console games, I think the whole idea is borderline cheating. Especially for shooters. The most appealing thing about console gaming for many people is that it is standardized. Everyone has the same controller, everyone has the same system, the graphical limitations are known to developers and irrelevant to customers, and so on. You know that any game you buy will work on the system, without requiring buying an updated version every year or two, and that your opponents will be using the same setup and there are no variants. Figuring out ways to mix in mouses and keyboards ruins all of it.

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