I’ve always preferred playing video games on PC over consoles because I can’t get used to console controllers for the types of games I play, including first-person shooters (FPS) like the “Battlefield” series, as well as third-person games like “GTA V” and “The Division.”
I simply don’t get the same level of accuracy and control with a console controller as I do with the good ol’ fashioned keyboard and mouse. As a result, I stank at my favorite games when I played them on consoles, so I mostly play on my PC and reserve my Xbox One for “FIFA.”
- Antonio Villas-Boas/Tech Insider
Yet, not everyone wants a PC, or has room in their budget for one, even if they still appreciate the benefits of a traditional keyboard and mouse.
Enter the XIM4, a $150 device that lets you use a keyboard and mouse with your console, including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, as well as older consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The XIM4 isn’t the first keyboard/mouse adapter I’ve seen for consoles, but it’s the first I’ve seen with overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Check out the XIM4:
The XIM4 works by essentially translating your mouse movements and keyboard hits into a console controller’s joystick movements and buttons, thus allowing your game console to “understand” these new inputs.
- Shutterstock/Flickr/Business Insider
You just plug in your console controller and keyboard/mouse into the XIM4 device. It can make for a cable-y mess, but if I didn’t already own a powerful gaming PC, this is a compromise I’d be willing to make.
- YouTube/Austin Evans
You’ll need to install the XIM4 app on your iOS or Android device in order to sync your individual game profiles onto the XIM4 so it can accurately translate your keyboard and mouse controls into the joystick and buttons of your console’s controller.
The main hassle with the XIM4 is that it can take about a week after a game’s release for a profile to be created. So, you might not be able to use the XIM4 on the very first day (or week) a game comes out.
Also, while XIM4 works for most games, it isn’t compatible with every single game out there. Check out the full list of compatible games here.
YouTube tech star Austin Evans tried the XIM4 with an Xbox One and said there’s barely any lag when using your keyboard and mouse, and that it felt pretty much like using a PC.
It’s only noticeable if you’re really looking for it, according to Evans.
Evans does suggest you can just use a PC if you want to use a keyboard and mouse for gaming, but that’s not always an option.
You can buy or build an excellent gaming PC for around $500 that can play games at higher frames-per-second (fps) and better graphics than a console. Still, gaming PCs cost more than an Xbox One or PS4, which can be found for as low as around $250 on Amazon.
Plus, you need to consider the extra cost of a monitor, which can add another $200 if you want a good one.
If you already have a console and a TV, the XIM4 could eliminate the need for a gaming PC for gamers looking for keyboard and mouse control, even when you consider the XIM4’s $150 price tag.
If you decide to buy the XIM4, the only thing you’d need to figure out is how to use a keyboard and mouse from your couch, where you’d usually play console games.
- YouTube/Tech of Tomorrow
There are gadgets called “lapboards,” which are essentially keyboards with an extended sturdy and solid mouse mat for your mouse. They’re designed for “couch gaming” so you can play games from your living room couch on your TV.
- YouTube/Tech of Tomorrow
Alternatively, you could hook up your console to a monitor or TV on a desk and play as if you’re using a PC.
Using a keyboard and mouse gives players a competitive advantage for FPS games, as many claim – including me – that you can aim and shoot more accurately with a mouse than you can with a controller’s joysticks.
The overall sentiment of using a keyboard and mouse on a console is that it can give players an unfair advantage, as the majority of console gamers playing games online will use standard controllers that are a little less quick and accurate. Some gamers will even call those who use keyboards and mice on consoles “cheaters.”
I’ll take the above as a testament that, indeed, the keyboard and mouse combo is more accurate and generally better than console controllers.
Source: YouTube/ohZuraa: A gamer playing “Overwatch” using the XIM4.
That said, some gamers will claim that they’re more accurate with a controller’s joysticks than with a keyboard and mouse.
The XIM4 looks like a great solution on paper, but I’ll be working on a full review to test whether or not it’s comparable to a PC experience.
If you don’t care about what I’ll have to say about the XIM4 and you just need a keyboard and mouse for your console right now, you can buy the XIM4 here for $150.