Microsoft Reveals Accessibility-Minded Xbox Controller

by Imran Khan on May 17, 2018 at 08:44 AM

Update: Microsoft has officially unveiled the controller, called the Xbox Adaptive Controller. Microsoft says that the controller "can be connected to external buttons, switches, joysticks and mounts, giving gamers with a wide range of physical disabilities the ability to customize their setups."

The controller has been in development since 2014 and has been built with disabled gamer feedback in order to build inclusivity in the game industry:

You can watch the controller in action here as well as what a number of disabled gamers think about the device:

And if you want an in-depth look at the development process, Microsoft has a longread about that right here.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller will cost $99.99 and go on sale later this year.

Original story (May 14 at 8:46 PM): A leaked image today shows that Microsoft appears to be building a controller with accessibility in mind.

Reported by Windows Central, the controller is designed with improving accessibility for people without the ability to play games using a modern controller comfortably. The images show a flat controller with an Xbox One D-pad and two rounded surfaces for the A and B buttons, though it is likely those functions are programmable. All the various other functions of an Xbox One controller are represented by grooved impressions at the top of the controller and a USB port allows for expansion or programming of the controller's functions.

Microsoft is often lauded by accessibility groups for various improvements and additions to the Xbox One interface for making games easier to play. The PlayStation 4 added button remapping for similar reasons. Nintendo is often criticized for not allowing things like system level, or even game-specific, button remapping to help people who cannot, for example, comfortably or otherwise pull triggers and would like major functions remapped to face buttons.

The image itself looks like a marketing or product shot, so assuming it is real, it should be revealed fairly soon.

[Source: Windows Central]


Our Take
If this leaked image is legitimate, then hopefully it helps people enjoy games more. Microsoft has been making it a point to be more inclusive for things like this, like the reintroduced Avatars with wheelchairs, as an example.