September 19, 2010 - The keyboard and mouse has been the cornerstone for gaming for more than two decades and while there are certainly no signs of that changing anytime soon, the platform for which the peripherals are connected to is. In today’s era of gaming, the mighty controller and home console dominates the gaming realm with the likes of Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony putting out quality hardware that rivals the average PC gamers’ computer used today. While the technology incorporated in a console controller has come a long way; it still falls behind the accuracy and precision of a keyboard and mouse, which has led countless gamers to request support in PS3 games. While only a select few have answered the call, Penguin United decided to step up and create a device which will let any PS3 game be playable with a keyboard and mouse. DO they succeed, continue reading and find out.
Trying to blend the lines between a PC gamer and one that favors video game consoles, Penguin United has created and released the ‘Eagle Eye’ Converter, which allows people who own PS3 consoles to use a mouse and keyboard with any and all PS3 branded video games. Anyone who has played MMOs, RPGs, FPS titles on PC and played the equivalent version on a home console know that the overall quality of the gameplay and control mechanics are far superior on a PC as oppose to a video game controller. However, there are millions of gamers worldwide who own both home consoles and a gaming PC; who if could have their way, would play their entire home console game collection via a keyboard and mouse. This is something that Penguin United knew and sought to make it a reality.
While it seems simple enough judging from the packaging of the Eagle Eye to hope right into gaming with a keyboard and mouse, there are a few steps you must adhere to before you can give it a go. After taking everything out of the packaging for the Eagle Eye, you’ll notice the Eagle Eye itself, a small manual and an installation CD-rom. The manual that comes with the Eagle Eye breaks down the install process into several short, but easy to understand steps in order to get yourself up and running to use on your PS3. When it comes to setting up your custom layout for the Eagle Eye to accept, everything should run smoothly. I ran into a bit of a hiccup here, but it was only due to me needing to restart my computer and I opted to just try the installation while I was still using my computer. After restarting my computer and trying again, the program worked like a charm and my custom controller layout was mapped to the device.
Another quirk I ran into when using the Eagle Eye converter was that the instructions for actually using the device are spot on, but I feel it leaves out a step for the device to be used properly. According to the instructions, after you plug in the adapter to your PS3’s USB port, you are suppose to then connect the keyboard and mouse to the adapter. Those steps are correct; however you should wait a minute or two for your PS3 console to actually recognize the adapter before you plug in your keyboard and mouse. The device is currently being used on and original PS3 console. I have yet been able to test it out on a slim PS3 console to see if you still have to wait a couple of minutes or not. All in all, the road that leads to using the device can be a tad bumpy, however once you get everything setup, you are definitely ready to go.
The days of you being limited to a select number of control layouts for a particular game are long gone. With the Eagle Eye adapter in your possession, your keyboard configuration can be anything you feel is comfortable. You can setup a practical control scheme or go for the gusto and setup something that will give you the upper hand against any and all of your friends that are still using the PlayStation 3’s DualShock3/Sixaxis controllers. Making the device even more desirable, you are able to save two different control schemes to the Eagle Eye, being able to switch between the two on the fly. So essentially you can have a custom keyboard layout designed for FPS and Action/Adventures titles, while the other is designed for MMOs and RPGs. The sky’s the limit as two how you use this function. You also have the ability to map button combos to a single key on your keyboard and even turn any PS3 button into a turbo button. The Turbo option is a love addition, especially for those gamers that require you to hit a certain key multiple times in order to get through that sequence. The Turbo mode option repeats a single button press 3 times per second for every second you hold down that button. You can truly say you will never repeatedly tap every again with the Eagle Eye.
The Eagle Eye does what it sets out to do; making any and all PS3 games compatible with a keyboard and mouse. While this device does help to enrich the experience when playing a RPGs and soon to be MMOs on the PS3 console, depending on the FPS you are playing, it can be a hit or miss. I tested the device out with two of most popular FPS titles currently available for the PS3 console; Killzone 2 and Modern Warfare 2. Playing Killzone 2 with a controller, the action is very fluid and intense, whereas with the Eagle Eye, I found the level of fluidity when it came to aiming not on par with the controller experience. Even with tweaking the settings within the options, the experience still didn’t quite rival playing with a controller. I’m not saying that it’s horrible at all… in fact, that’s far from the truth. In my personal opinion, the controller just seems more fluid when it comes to Killzone 2. However, when I moved on to “the best-selling PS3 game ever”, things were dramatically different. It’s as if this device was made for Call of Duty. This is probably due to the custom levels of sensitivity for aiming in the game. Using the Eagle Eye, I certainly bested my friends and random people without them even knowing it.
In regards to the overall quality of the product, the first official version of the Eagle Eye is a very solid piece of equipment. While it may only be comprised of two pieces of plastic surrounding a circuit board, you don’t have to worry about dropping this device or someone accidentally stepping on the devices and the 13ft. USB cable that’s attached to the device allows you to sit in piece on your favorite couch. The only issue I have with the design of the device is the limitations on what kind of keyboard and mouse devices you can use. While I didn’t have a problem breaking out my old school GameCube keyboard from the Phantasy Star Online days to test this device, it would be nice either via a software update or a future version to be able to use wireless keyboard and mouse devices as that’s what many of us are use to.
The quote Penguin United uses for the Eagle Eye Converter…”Aim Better, Move Faster, Ownage Never Comes Easier.” is very much true in every way possible. While certain games have little quirks due to how they were designed, the device does indeed give you a leg-up on the competition; unless of course you are playing a gaming professional. While this devices lets you play any and all PS3 console games with a keyboard and mouse, the average gamer will only utilize its functionality for FPS titles…especially those hooked on Call of Duty. The Eagle Eye Converter currently retails for $59.99 and is currently offered by many retail outlets. If you pride yourself on being the best at FPS titles; especially Call of Duty, you owe it to yourself to drop the controller, buy the Eagle Eye, pick up a keyboard and mouse and set the world ablaze.