PlayStation just did something awesome for its players that Xbox should DEFINITELY follow

Cronus Zen device with the text "banned" on it
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • In a recent PlayStation update, Sony appears to have nuked the compatibility of Cronus devices. 
  • Cronus allows users to connect up a mouse and keyboard to games that typically wouldn't support it, which allows for more accurate aiming and faster turning in competitive shooters. 
  • Cronus has been widely blamed for a decline in match quality in games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, and others. 
  • Right now, Cronus and similar XIM accessories are deployed heavily on Xbox, with complete impunity. 

PlayStation gamers have a huge reason to celebrate today — at least those who like to actually play games fairly. 

As noticed by the fine folks at CharlieINTEL, a new PlayStation update deployed yesterday has blocked Cronus accessories entirely from accessing the system. 

Cronus accessories and similar products like XIM allow users to connect up a standard USB keyboard and mouse, which the accessory then spoofs into mimicking the functions of a standard PlayStation or Xbox controller. Armed with a keyboard and mouse, coupled with aim-assist on console, these accessories give players an absolutely enormous advantage in competitive shooters. Their existence completely ruins the best shooters on PlayStation and best shooters on Xbox, and I'm still at a loss why Microsoft hasn't explored banning these accessories yet. 

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Their proliferation has been blamed for a hard decline in match quality in games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Battlefield. You can turn more rapidly with a mouse, while still enjoying console-exclusive benefits like aim assist, designed to offset the disadvantages of a joystick. Joysticks have an activation gradation that mouse cursor players don't have to deal with. Devices like Cronus and XIM allow mouse and keyboard players to spoof their way into the console play pool, throwing competitive play out of the window entirely. 

Cronus released a statement on its website blaming Sony for the block, while professing its intents to bypass Sony's security measures here. There's no guarantee that Sony has found a silver bullet to permanently block these types of devices from accessing the system. Without creating some kind of proprietary, secure connector for future consoles, it could simply become an arms race between cheat accessories and console manufacturers. 

Cheating sucks

One of the reasons I rarely bother playing shooters like Call of Duty or Battlefield on Xbox these days is how degraded the experience has become. Opting out of cross-play on Xbox is annoying already, since it's a system-wide feature that blocks crossplay even in co-operative games. Microsoft does have features that allow keyboard and mice designed for Xbox to connect to the PC pool instead of the console pool, but Cronus and XIM bypass that. When you throw in the fact that keyboard and mouse players can still enter console gameplay pools using these accessories, it leaves a sour taste on the whole experience. 

I'm not sure Microsoft appreciates how big of a problem this is for games like Halo Infinite and Rainbow Six Siege, which hinge on a fair playing field in competitive play. But I do appreciate that, when controllers use standard ports like USB and so on, that securing the signals that come into the console is tough. 

It'll be interesting to watch how the battle between PlayStation and Cronus plays out.  

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • wolfthump
    Windows Central said:
    PlayStation is blocking Cronus cheat accessories on its platform, in what might be the start of a wider crackdown on devices that allow for cheating in competitive shooters. Xbox should definitely do the same.

    PlayStation just did something awesome for its players that Xbox should DEFINITELY follow : Read more
    I have absolutely no idea where you got your information from outside of charlieintel. But you are very wrong xbox blocked cronus and xin awhile ago we xbox uses can not even plug one in with out get consol banned maybe lose your fan-boying Playstation and get all your information before posting such trash
    Reply