While accessibility has often been a challenge for both game developers and hardware makers alike, Microsoft has taken a step forward in providing gamers with disabilities a wider field of options to play games with the Xbox One Adaptive Controller, and more details have been shared on the specific goals that the company sought when creating the device.
In a report from Engadget, Senior Xbox Hardware Program Manager Gabi Michel shared a bit more insight into the creation of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, the company’s upcoming new controller that provides an accessibility-minded control option for gamers with physical or mental disabilities and/or limited mobility.
Specifically, Michel stated that Microsoft sought out to create an accessible controller as an alternative to the current market for similar devices, as accessible controllers can be “really expensive” and cost thousands of dollars, according to her. Michel elaborated that most accessible controllers are custom made and that “you usually have to go to a non-profit to get them, and those often have waiting lists,” alongside being difficult to make on a technical level and hard to find for most consumers.
Michel said that Microsoft’s primary aim when creating the Adaptive Controller was that they “wanted to solve all those problems” in providing accessible hardware to gamers with specific physical or mental needs, and added that “we wanted it to be affordable, we wanted it to be extensible. It needed to be easy to find, it needed to be easy to use, set up, play, everything.”
The Xbox Adaptive Controller will release later this year exclusively through the Microsoft Store, and will retail for $99.99. For more on the upcoming controller, you can learn about the making of the controller and the research that went in to make it accessibility-minded.