Overwatch Head Passes The Buck On Mouse And Keyboard Console Adapters

Anyone who made the admittedly questionable decision to get Overwatch on console (either PS4 or Xbox One) has long been running into immediate regret in the form of mouse and keyboard adapters. Using devices such as XIM4s or IOGEAR's KeyMander, players can connect a mouse and keyboard to their home console and use it on games such as Overwatch. These devices cost anywhere from $75 to $150 depending on where you go.

These devices also create an obvious competitive problem because mouse and keyboard is considered much more accurate, especially when paired with the console's aim assist feature. This is different than a game simply allowing crossplay, such as Gears of War 4, because the PC version of the game doesn't allow for aim assist.

It seems, though, that Blizzard is unable to do anything about it – or at least unwilling, as the practice has not been labeled as cheating and is not a bannable offense. In fairness, it's unclear how exactly Blizzard is supposed to positively identify someone using this hardware, so it may be a lot more difficult than that.

But today, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan finally responded to a forum post complaining about mouse & keyboard on consoles (there have been scores of such posts in the past with no response). While contending that "the Overwatch team objects to the use of mouse and keyboard on console," he want on to say that there isn't much they can do about it. Kaplan said, in the post:

"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."

Of course, either option would meet heavy resistance in some form or another from XIM4 and others, as both of those options would effectively make purchasing adapters a thing of the past. No one would want to buy an adapter if PS4 and Xbox One didn't allow their use, and, likewise, no one would need to buy an adapter if those consoles had the functionality natively.

In a way, this is Kaplan and Blizzard passing the buck over to consoles, asking them to take what seem like drastic steps to limit the effectiveness of competitive advantages. Maybe it's an issue of transparency – we don't know exactly what steps they've tried to punish or deter those who use mouse and keyboard adapters, so it's hard for us to gauge how seriously they're taking the issue.

But, while we give the Overwatch team the benefit of the doubt, console players are constantly reminded of the issue while mouse and keyboard users get what many consider an unfair competitive advantage.