For the disabled, gaming is a hard thing to do. With some having limited functionality, limited mobility, or another disability, the Xbox Adaptive Controller aims to be the answer to all.
For years, upon years, upon years, companies have been trying to find a way to offer those with disabilities to enjoy the games their friends, families, and colleagues do. Some companies, such as the ones behind the Avenger Controller mod, have done their best, making it easier by making buttons more readily accessible.
However, not everything works. Some have found that gaming is still hard, that motion controls can sometimes only make things slightly harder. After having gamed with those with disabilities such as Ceberal Paulsey and Muscular Dystrophy, I’ve begun to take my ability to game for granted. After all, I have almost complete use of my hands, arms, eyes, and general motor functions, but some of my pals, they don’t get the enjoyment I do out of the games we play together.
As technology has advanced, so has the way we interact with games and other forms of interactive media. Among the many companies that have pushed innovation, an unlikely company has been working on an answer, one that will allow many, many people to enjoy games unlike in a way they’ve never imagined possible.
Announced rather early today, Microsoft has announced the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which aims to give those with motor control difficulties unparalleled options when looking to enjoy their games. This new controller is a customizable flat controller option, which allows users to input a series of external switches and devices to mimic buttons and the analog sticks normally seen on an Xbox One controller. This new controller will allow gamers with a wide array of disabilities to experience games in ways they’d never imagined before.
This new controller is currently in development for the Xbox One family and Windows 10 PCs. The controller will feature a weighted back, smooth edges, and even a slick-to-the-touch surface in order to prevent users from getting injured.
Microsoft has revealed that the controller will retail for $100 USD and will be available later this year. The Xbox Adaptive Controller will feature 19 3.5mm jack inputs on the backside of the controller and will allow fur a wide array of buttons, switches, joysticks, foot pedals, and various other devices for button inputs. Microsoft has also revealed that it also has two large programmable buttons for light to use touches, allowing for disabled gamers to use the touchpads if they want.
Microsoft has stated that the Xbox One Adaptive Controller will feature the ability to use both USB-C and AC adaptors in order to charge the device. This device isn’t just remarkable, it’s extraordinary and it will change the way disabled gamers look at games. No longer do they have to worry about problematic control schemes, awkward button angles, or having to press harder on buttons than they should have to.
This new device is going to be a great option for those with friends or family members that have trouble using normal motor functions or playing games in the same manner as they do, but in a new and more enjoyable way than ever before.
While Microsoft has received a lot of negativity due to their lack of first-party games, we can’t be mad about their innovative team making games more easily accessible than ever before. Because of this goodwill by Microsoft, I’m sure the teams behind this controller deserve a round of applause. If you haven’t, check out the video above, and see just how amazing the experiences are for those who have struggled to play games in the past.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.