USB Keyboard And Mouse For The PS4

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If you’d like to play BattleCallSpaceMarine on the Playstation 4 with a keyboard and mouse – and have an unfair advantage over everyone else playing on a console – you’d normally be out of luck. Sony implemented a fair bit of software to make sure only officially licensed controllers are able to talk to the console. It took a while, but [Frank Zhao] has figured out why keyboard and mouse doesn’t work on PS4, and created a device to enable these superior input devices.

Sony engineers decided – or were told – that the PS4 shouldn’t be able to connect to any old USB device. To that end, they made the console issue challenges to a DualShock controller to make sure the official controller is always connected over Bluetooth.

[Frank]‘s device solves this problem by taking the USB output from a keyboard and mouse, doing the CRC calculations, and sending them out over Bluetooth. Because the PS4 constantly issues challenges and responses of the authentication procedure, a real DualShock controller needs to be connected to the device at all times. Still, if you want a keyboard and mouse on the PS4, this is the way to do it.

All the sources and layouts are up on [Frank]‘s github where you’re free to create your own. This isn’t a finished product quite yet; [Frank] still needs to do a redesign of the circuit. Judging from the response of his earlier attempt at keyboards and mice on the PS4, though, this may be a successful product in the works.

Comments

  1. Sven says:

    It’s always a good idea to spend a lot of time and effort to make your product less usable. At least if your employer calls itself Sony.

  2. JRDM says:

    I didn’t know people used keyboard & mouse to play games on a PS3. I used them to help me enter passwords and such though.

    • Darwin Survivor says:

      I’ve actually seen (not in person) keyboards and mice specifically designed for the PS3. The “keyboard” didn’t actually look like a normal keyboard, it was one of those round things with dozens of buttons in easy reach in an ergonomic design. It actually looked pretty cool, but I don’t play FPS games on consoles, so I never bothered to get one.

  3. justice099 says:

    The best way to stop manufacturers from doing this kind of stuff? Don’t buy the product.

    • Truth says:

      +1
      Sony as a corporation no longer get any of my money (if I can help it – there are revenue streams that I’m sure I have missed. e.g. some religions through investments in hotels are indirectly financing the making of porn movies).

      Obviously one of the reasons they block unapproved Bluetooth devices is to try and minimize attack vectors on that surface. And limit people to buying only approved (€€€/$$$/£££) devices (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vendor_lock-in#Sony). From a security point of view it makes sense, but with Sony lock-in is a requirement. A lot of people appear to like golden cages, not me and I’m sure most of the readers of Hackaday.

      • justice099 says:

        I think that Sony has been in business long enough to understand that someone somewhere will ALWAYS break through whatever security measures they make. I believe marketing just brainstorms shiny excuses for their vendor lock-ins and the true drive is simply to force honest customers to pay more and limit their options using their product. I will never support that from any company. If I pay for something, it is mine to use however I see fit. If they intentionally inhibit me or limit me, I WILL either not purchase it or I will find a way to hack it.

        They only get away with it because people just accept it.

        A hilarious example is the copy protection some software companies use. I once bought a game that absolutely refused to work because it recognized that I had “hacking tools” installed on my computer, and another game that wouldn’t run because it recognized that my DVD burner was capable of making raw copies. And with software, once you open it, it cannot be returned. So I paid $60 and they told me to go screw myself when I contacted them. It took five minutes to find a crack for it. I had to crack the software I PAID FOR in order to use it. I never (and will never) buy from that company again.

        They are doing absolutely nothing to stop dishonest people, but instead screw over the honest ones.

      • fartface says:

        So I assume you play no game consoles then? Because Xbox now has worse things going on with it that the Sony PS4 has. And I hope you dont play any Sony owned game studio titles or listen to 50% of the music out there as that is owned by sony.

        Avoiding the tentacles of CulthulSony is very hard. Hope you only use LG or Sharp for a TV because the Rest use Sony Glass.

        • JRDM says:

          There are Sony parts in way too many things. I opened a Canon camera to find a Sony display. I know Nikon used or uses some Sony sensors.

        • justice099 says:

          No. I just won’t buy a Sony PS4 that is locked down like this. Displays, chips, etc… aren’t locked down. And if they were, then I wouldn’t buy those from Sony either. My point was that I won’t buy any PRODUCT that is locked down like this, not anything at all made from a company. There was no direct Sony hate in my post.

          If more people did this, then the product would flop and the manufacturers just might learn that people aren’t going to accept it.

          And no, I don’t play any console games.

  4. Very nice work !!
    I expect other hardware/software hacks like that could be done using a common hacking tool like my open source HW/SW HydraBus base board, for more details see http://hydrabus.com
    The most interesting part is the STM32F4 which open tons of possible stuff (with M4F@168MHz and tons of High Speed IO, Memory …).

  5. tekkieneet says:

    This has one draw back vs a properly integrated product that does not use USB internally: Latency of USB + Latency of Bluetooth!

    cheap $3 mice & $5 keyboard are implemented as low speed (1.5Mbps) USB HID devices and as such they are artificially limited by USB spec to be polled every 10ms (so they don’t hog the bus) vs every 1ms for High Speed (12Mbps) devices. I hope he breaks that part of the USB specs.

    • frank26080115 says:

      @tekkieneet

      About the polling frequency, my device is the USB host and it actually ignores the polling frequency. Polling for new data involves issuing IN tokens to the device, and I can do that as fast as I want, however, the slave device can reply NAK if it has nothing to say. Even cheap mice these days seem to be able to give you a new packet once every 1 millisecond.

      In your comment, you said “high speed (12 Mbps)”, which is incorrect, you meant to say “full speed”, “high speed” is 480 Mbps.

    • tekkieneet says:

      It is good to hear that you ignore this ass-pect of the USB specs. ARM devices are typically only equipped with Full Speed USB.

      Between Low Speed, Full Speed, High Speed, Super Speed and Ludicrous Speed (TM Mel Brooks), one can get the names mixed up easily on a Monday morning.

  6. CrsHrz says:

    The PS4 does support third-party mice and keyboards, both through USB and Bluetooth. Anyone who owns a PS4 can prove it themselves.

    https://support.us.playstation.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5087/~/use-keyboard-and-mouse-with-ps4

    What it doesn’t support (and I can’t think of any consoles that would) is using a keyboard or mouse as an in-game controller.

    • frank26080115 says:

      @CrsHrz

      Yea, which is the main problem. Getting it to work in-game.

      Although the game War Thunder supports keyboard and mouse natively on the PS4 right now, but that’s the only game that does.

    • tekkieneet says:

      You would need some software that does the exact opposite of xpadder running on the dongle to map keyboard/mouse events to gamepad events.

      I am quite surprise that a few PC games that accept both gamepad and mouse inputs simultaneously. That saved my bacon a few times.

  7. t&p says:

    I’m just surprised that a mouse and keyboard had been programmed in for input.

  8. Frank says:

    I did not expect this much hate for Sony. I rather like Sony products, and all three major game console companies all attempted to stop 3rd party peripherals, so Sony shouldn’t be singled out.

    Nintendo’s security was abysmal and thus the market is flooded with cheap accessories, Nintendo’s security consisted of two add and xor operation with a tiny key table and it was easily cracked years ago. I was able to make a Rock Band drum for my Wii because of this flaw.

    Xbox 360 used 3DES and I don’t think anybody has cracked that. I am pretty sure the new Xbox One uses AES since almost all newer microcontrollers have AES hardware now.

  9. fartface says:

    The authentication is part of their DRM scheme. Because it really limits the attack vectors to attack the system and do something horrible like installing linux on the PS4

  10. zdanee says:

    And yet another reason for me not to get a console. If I see an USB port, the only thing what I won’t try to stick in that is the thing what is the same age as I. Such a crippled USB implementation shouldn’t be allowed to use the normal design or call itself USB.

  11. I can use a keyboard and mouse just fine on my ps4. I use it to play FFXIV and I have no problems at all. Its not a sony ps4 specific keyboard and mouse either. It was some cheap MS 35 dollar combo.

  12. Keyboard and mouse work flawlessly on the PS4 in FFXIV. USB or through bluetooth. I have no idea why you would need to hack anything, or what’s all this nonsense about Sony designing it not to work with third party devices, because my logitech keyboard took all of 2 seconds to connect, and FFXIV works perfectly with it, for chat, for AWSD playing, for whatever. It’s identical to the PC versions use, in almost every way. No hack required. No proprietary hardware needed. I don’t get these rumors. No, you can’t use it in every game that way, but that’s up to the software developer, just as most PC games aren’t designed to use controllers, but some are capable of both (or like dark souls completely designed for the controller on the PC, with poor m/kb support).

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