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Keyboards and Consoles

Should We Have Keyboards on Consoles?

For one reason or another, there is some sort of stigma attached to using a keyboard and mouse on a gaming console. People worry that the line between the PC and the consoles will be blurred, gamers using the combo will have an unfair advantage when playing FPS online, etc, etc.

My response is – so what?

When you consider that some of the most popular gaming genres the (FPS, RPG and the MMORPG) are best enjoyed with the mouse and keyboard combo, you have to wonder whether it is time that major console developers give gamers the extra option.

Besides, with the online aspect of console gaming becoming more and more central to the experience, it seems only natural that adding a keyboard and mouse could only enhance a gamers ability to communicate – thereby enabling services like XBox Live to expand their  content.

There have been a few companies out there that have attempted to make a keyboard / mouse adapter for a console – one of the most notable being the SmartJoy FRAG for the  XBox and PS2. It worked decently well, but it lacked the kind of support that a Sony or Microsoft could give it.

Furthermore, it is a foregone conclusion that at some point, a MMORPG will make its way onto the console platform. Before this can occur however, certain technological obstacles have to be overcome. The online architecture of services like XBox Live are not conducive to truly massive multiplayer gaming quite yet, and the lack of a keyboard and mouse make porting a popular game like WoW to the consoles tricky. In fact, Blizzard COO Paul Sams recently noted that while they have no plans to port WoW to the XBox 360, the company might look at the consoles for their products in the future. He listed  the difficulties that using a joystick would present to the MMORPG experience as one of the reasons why developing a game now would not be possible.

Hell is not going to freeze over if you can play Halo on the XBox 360 with a keyboard and mouse. As far as I’m concerned, you really haven’t played an FPS until you have played it with the control that a keyboard and mouse combo can give you.

Posted by Sean

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