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So I plugged in my PlayStation 2 for the first time in ten years and realized that I could not customize my key bindings, only pick from select pre-sets that the developers put in, which I thought was strange. So I checked through a few of my games on Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo 64 and realized that none of them had customizable controls, only control schemes (if even that)!

Why is this? Is it a limitation of the consoles or is it policy from Sony's and Microsoft's part that games should only offer select pre-sets, not completely customizable key bindings? The same games have customizable key bindings on PC and have no issues with binding to my Xbox 360 PC controllers.

I don't own any more modern consoles, so maybe it's different nowadays. If so, why did the old consoles have these limitations that the new ones do not have?

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Found some interesting discussions of this question, one that pointed to the following podcast at 43:35. The most salient point, in my opinion: "[remapping controls] is a bug factory".

My suspicion would be that in reality it's not that the limitation of consoles prevent these sorts of custom settings but rather that the variability of PC environments require them. I'm not a professional game developer, so take this with a grain of salt, but I think it's probably a lot of work for a feature that only a relatively small proportion of users would find useful. If this is something that's been changing nowadays, I would imagine it has more to do with more attention being paid towards accessibility these days than any differences in hardware.

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