My PC lets me, why don’t you?
When you think about the age-old debate of playing games on consoles vs PC’s, your first thought is probably how much better games look on PC’s, but lately I’ve been thinking more and more about how I wish I could change all of my controller button mappings on consoles like you can in virtually every PC game. With more games being released on both PC’s and consoles these days, I’ve been wondering why this functionality can’t carry over to the console version of the game as well. Whether it’s a hardware problem or a software problem, this is my request for someone to fix it.
This isn’t always a problem and there are plenty of games that I don’t make any controller changes at all, but it is a problem with games in the same genre that have different controller configurations. For example, this month both Halo 4 and Black Ops 2 were released and their controller configurations are different enough to make it a bit awkward when you go from one game to the other. After playing Halo 4 all week, I switched over to play Black Ops 2 last night and for the first few games I was looking down my scope instead of throwing grenades, reloading instead of sprinting and crouching instead of getting a melee kill. What I was used to in Halo 4 was now different in Black Ops 2 and even after cycling through the different preset button layouts, I couldn’t get them to line up 100% how I like them. After a few games I was comfortable with the Black Ops 2 controls, but it’ll be the same thing all over again when I’m ready to play Halo 4 again. It would be so much easier if I could just map all of the buttons how I like them.
343 Industries did make an effort in Halo 4 to win over Call of Duty fans by including the Fishstick button layout which is exactly the same as the Black Ops 2 default layout. While I do appreciate their effort, it’s not the ideal remedy because not everyone is going to use the default controls in Call of Duty and they are still left out. It also doesn’t help me because I actually prefer the Halo 4 Recon controls over Call of Duty’s so I don’t want to now have to play both games in a way that I don’t enjoy as much, just for it to be familiar. The only true way to fix this and satisfy everyone is to include full button mapping options so that everyone can choose exactly what they want each button to do.
This isn’t just me, as many of my friends that I play with also complain about getting used to the controls again when going from one shooter to the other and if you could just change each individual button mapping then you could make it the same for each game and it would never be a problem. Changing your controls, whether it’s by picking a new preset layout or full button mapping is obviously optional, so if you don’t want to make any changes then it won’t affect you either way. As a development issue, I can’t imagine that it would take too much extra time or money for developers as most of them already include this in their PC version, so similar code should work on consoles as well. I’ve done some programming in my life, but never on a video game of this magnitude so that is an assumption on my part that could be way off, but I don’t think it it would make or break big budget games like this even if they had to do the console button mapping code from scratch.
If this is an issue with the consoles themselves, whether it be the hardware or software within them, then this is something that Microsoft and Sony should look at for their next-gen consoles, whatever they are called and whenever they are released. Giving developers the freedom to include full button mapping options in their console version would only be a good thing and they should seriously consider allowing this. It may not be an issue for everyone, but it would be a welcome change to those of us who want this feature added. After exclusive games, it’s small features like this that sway people to buy one console over the other so whoever jumps on this one first could win over a large number of console gamers looking for more accessibility with their controls.
What about you? Would you like to be able to change all of the button mappings for a console game?