Microsoft revealed a new Xbox Adaptive Controller designed to let everyone and anyone game last night. I know a console is just a piece of plastic, but days like this make me glad there’s an Xbox One connected to my television set.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is an official way for gamers with disabilities to create a gaming setup that works for them. It drops the joysticks, small buttons and bumpers of other Xbox controllers for two large buttons and a directional pad. There’s no place to grip this controller, it lays flat on a table instead.
A set of ports on the top edge of the Xbox Adaptive Controller let users add different ways of interacting with their console. That way, someone who can’t comfortably push a trigger or a bumper can find a replacement that works for them. Microsoft worked on the controller’s design with Able Gamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged. The existing Xbox Accessories app will let gamers map whatever external controllers they need to play, whether it be with a one-handed joystick, a large external button, a foot pedal or a mouth sensor.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller will launch this fall at Microsoft’s online store for $99.99. That’s according to Xbox Wire.
Making it easier for everyone who wants to play games to enjoy their favorite title is a big focus for Microsoft. The company has people on staff constantly looking at how the products it makes work for everyone, whether they be software or hardware. I’ve also seen how life-changing it can be for someone who has physical disabilities to know that this staff is out there making sure the products that the Xbox Team delivers work flawlessly for them.
At the end of the day, every video game console exists to turn profits for its maker and entertain us. Also, gaming isn’t exactly becoming a less expensive hobby.
If I’m going to continue to give a console maker my money, I hope that they’re spending the profits on things like developing a controller for people who can’t use the current one or building software that lets people do something that they thought they might never be able to do.
Hey, Xbox Team. Today was a good day.