Overwatch Boss Not Happy About Mouse and Keyboard Use on Console

Blizzard has reached out to console makers to try to discourage their use–or enable them for all players.


Players use controllers for PC all the time. But using a mouse and keyboard on console is a bit more rare. In games like Overwatch, such use can provide a distinct advantage, and Blizzard has come out strongly against the practice.

In a thread on the official forums asking for clarity on the issue, Game Director Jeff Kaplan said the Overwatch team "strongly objects" to the use of mouse and keyboard input on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and that the company has contacted both Microsoft and Sony to "express our concern."

"We have lobbied and will continue to lobby for first-party console manufacturers to either," he said in response to the query. "Disallow mouse and keyboard and input conversion devices OR Openly and easily support mouse and keyboard for ALL players. I encourage you to reach out to the hardware manufacturers and express your concerns (but please do so in a productive and respectful way)."

Kaplan clarified that he sees this as a problem for the team, but cannot solve the issue "without help from our partners."

Phil Spencer, the Xbox head honcho at Microsoft, chimed in on Twitter. "Clearly in some cases M&K is an advantage. I'm a fan of giving the tools to studios and they'll do what's best for their games."  

Using a mouse and keyboard for shooters traditionally offers better control and pinpoint accuracy for people using them, and the initial compalints on the Overwatch forums were lamenting that most of the top players appeared to be using them. Consoles do not inherently support them, and an input conversion device is needed to allow it. Microsoft has said previously that they intend to eventually offer mouse and keyboard support for Xbox One, but have not given a timeframe. Sony has not officially spoken on the issue, although it has licensed similar products that work like a mouse and keyboard, but just emulate the controller.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 8, 2017 9:40 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Overwatch Boss Not Happy About Mouse and Keyboard Use on Console

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      February 8, 2017 10:23 AM

      Well too bad :p

      • reply
        February 8, 2017 11:31 AM


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          February 8, 2017 11:52 AM

          The article would suggest that they are, in fact, the best.

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          February 8, 2017 12:38 PM

          I have a XIM4. It's defiantly not as great as the PC experience but it is vastly better than using a controller.

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      February 8, 2017 11:30 AM

      I preferred Kotaku's article on this. They also touch on how the M+KB adapters are used by disabled gamers who would otherwise not be able to play certain games. http://kotaku.com/the-fight-over-how-to-play-overwatch-on-consoles-1792099613

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        February 8, 2017 11:49 AM

        I find this article stupid. "Millions of disabled people" yeah but how many are completely capable of using a controller? They're trying too much pathos shit. Overwatch is a competitive game.

        I'm going to be an ass and say I could care less if you're disabled and want to play overwatch on console with KB+M and wouldn't care if they were banned.

        Consoles should allow devs to disable the XIM on a per game basis. There. Now anyone who is disabled that wants to play games that aren't FPS or whatever play the games where they wouldn't be given an unfair advantage.
        I want those who are disabled to be able to play games, but I'd give them the boot for doing this and make them play on a PC.

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          February 8, 2017 11:51 AM

          Overwatch has Quick Play, Arcade, and VS AI modes. If you care about competitiveness so much, stick to comp mode and leave everyone else alone. Blanket disabling peripherals that allow any number of disabled people to enjoy the game is some shitty bullshit.

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            February 8, 2017 11:55 AM

            The game is available on PC. So I wouldn't care if it's blanketed. If it's a game like destiny I'd feel somewhat different.
            That's my reasoning. It's not console exclusive so they have other options

        • Zek legacy 10 years
          February 8, 2017 12:06 PM

          What disability makes M+KB easier than a controller? Typically it's the opposite.

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            February 8, 2017 12:12 PM

            I'm not going to play doctor, but here's an example from the article: "Spohn pairs his XIM with a QuadStick, which is a mouth controller, and an Adroit, which he says allows button to be replaced by switches"

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      February 8, 2017 12:05 PM

      Don't make the game for the consoles?

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