I’ve been a gamer a long time; as in a really long time. I’ve seen some pretty crazy controller schemes come and go. I was there when the power glove made its debate on Nintendo, I spent many an hour playing T2 on SNES with a super scope and even remember playing House of the Living Dead 2 on Dreamcast with their version of a zapper gun. Needless to say, I’ve been around long enough to see the trends in gaming controllers. The Mouse and Keyboard are dead… sort of.
As a long time PC gamer, I have traditionally always played my shooters on PC with a mouse and Keyboard. Don’t get me wrong I still love a shooter on a console; just ask me which systems I’ve played the New Doom on. Yet I always find myself falling back to my old faithful, the keyboard/mouse combo. Arguably it’s more precise and responsive but honestly, it’s what I know.
Lately, as I watch Twitch streams for various shooters I am seeing more and more people streaming with a controller in hand. I’ve also noticed a correlation between age and control scheme of choice. I don’t have any hard science to back this up (unless you consider me sipping coffee and watching streamers research which I do so… SCIENCE!!) but I am finding more and more that people under 30 tend to lean more towards the controller set up and people over that bar lean more towards the mouse/keyboard combo.
This leads me to wonder if we will see a phase out of the Mouse/Keyboard from the gaming world. Even as more games port to console we are seeing less and less need complex control layouts. ARPG, RTS and even MMO’s are making the switch to console and I have to confess that outside my shooters I tend to plug my controller into my PC for gaming.
Maybe I’m crazy (in fact at this point I’m pretty sure that is the case) but I would venture to suggest that over the next 10 years we will see a phasing out of the mouse/keyboard combo from most gaming platforms. There will always be those die hards, specifically with shooters, that will cling to the mouse/keyboard but I predict that as new gamers are introduced into the fold that die hard core will get smaller and smaller. This of course is just an opinion and I would love to hear yours in the comments!