Accessibility in games has often been an obstacle for some gamers with physical or mental disabilities, but with the announcement of the Xbox Adaptive Controller from earlier today, Xbox’s Phil Spencer is hoping that Microsoft’s push for accessibility will steer the industry as whole towards catering to audiences with more specific needs.
In a report from Ars Technica, Phil Spencer provided a few more details around the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a new piece of hardware from Microsoft that aims to provide a more accessible means of control options towards gamers with disabilities and/or limited mobility.
Specifically, Spencer commented on the motivations for Microsoft behind the Adaptive Controller and that the company’s sole goals with the new hardware is to make progress in providing more accessible options for gamers, and not for business or competitive purposes.
Spencer stated that “I will never turn this into a Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft [competitive] thing,” and instead explained that he is “completely open” to the idea of collaborating with “literally anybody who wants to learn from the work we’ve done here–or even try to do more than that with the work we’ve done here.” Ultimately, Spencer said that the company wants to “just allow more people to play,” given that accessibility and catering towards those with disabilities has long been a challenge in the games industry.
While Spencer appeared to acknowledge that the industry still has a ways to go in delivering more accessible options in gaming for those with physical or mental disabilities (including at Microsoft), he did comment that those looking to enjoy games as a medium “shouldn’t have to work that hard,” especially when it comes to those that may be impeded by physical or mental disabilities. Spencer added Microsoft’s work on accessible devices “will continue,” and hopes that devices like the Adaptive Controller will “drive the industry” as a whole toward wider accessibility for gamers.
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.