When the PlayStation 3 was first released, keyboard and mouse functionality was one of the biggest draws for me as a PC gamer, especially with friends who refused to play on any platform other than consoles. But the dream was eventually squashed, as a scant few titles (such as Unreal Tournament 3 and CS: GO) actually supported the control scheme natively.
As a result, hardware that emulates the analog and digital functions of the DualShock 3 was created to fill a niche. I recently got my hands on one of those devices and put it to the test.
Out of all the keyboard and mouse emulation devices I've seen over the years, the Keymander is probably the easiest one I've used. All you do is plug the Keymander into the PS3, plug in a controller, then attach your keyboard and mouse into separate ports, and you're done. There's cords hanging out of every corner of your setup for sure, but it's simple enough to hook up. A simple press of the F8 key switches between "keyboard mode" and "emulation mode," which allows you to quickly type messages in MMOs, or other titles that support basic keyboard functions.
The device does allow for upgradeable firmware, and comes with a disc to install the proprietary program for fine tuning your experience -- such as different mapping profiles, sensitivity settings, and new functions. The good news is you don't need any of that, as a quick press of the select and start buttons together on a DualShock 3 allows for quick-key mapping -- in case you need to change your buttons on the fly. If you're a fast typer you can have new keys set up in no time, which is great for those of you who just want to get down to business as quick as possible.
In my tests, I used the Keymander on Fallout 3, BioShock Infinite, and a number of Battlefield and Call of Duty titles, and had no complaints. Everything was incredibly responsive, like I was playing directly on a PC. The only caveat is it really helps if you have a gaming mouse that can switch your DPI settings on the actual device -- in case the game doesn't have the applicable settings to fine tune your mouse to your liking. Otherwise, you might be left with some sluggish aiming.
Before you pick one of these up, the real question you need to ask yourself is -- do you really need to spend $99 to use a keyboard and mouse on your console?
For those of you who play FPS games day in and day out competitively, you might get more mileage out of a device like the Keymander than most. But despite how many games I play on a weekly basis, I don't see myself using this as more than a novelty item -- the good news though is that it actually works, should you need it.
I'm glad that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare isn't afraid to embrace the strange
10:30 AM on 03.25.2015