Gaming just got way more inclusive.
As systems have come and gone, setups like Xbox and PlayStation have evolved over time and have become way more intuitive, lifelike, and of course more addictive. But Xbox’s latest improvement has nothing to do with its games, and everything to do with its players. Today, Microsoft announced a new controller that will offer differently abled Xbox and Windows 10 users a much better gaming experience.
Dubbed the Xbox Adaptive Controller, it allows users to plug in “their own buttons, joysticks, and switches to mimic a standard controller so they can play any video game.”
The controller has two big programmable buttons to make pressing them way less cumbersome.
Microsoft’s press release also mentions that the controller came to fruition with the help of SpecialEffect, a UK-based charity, whose CEO says the device has a lot of potential.
“This has been a milestone collaboration for us. Our experience in helping people with complex physical disabilities to access video games has enabled us to provide not only very relevant advice about features and design, but also direct feedback from a user-centered perspective,” founder and chief executive Dr. Mick Donegan said.
The controller can be hooked up to any Xbox One or Windows 10 PC with the ease of Bluetooth, though has more than enough input jacks— 19 to be exact. Other than the two large black buttons on its front, the battery is rechargeable so there’s no need to change the batteries, and not being tethered to wires adds to ease of use.
And the new invention is already paying off. “I’ve lost a lot of ability, and definitely couldn’t play as much as when I was younger. When I had to stop playing the games I wanted to, it was very frustrating and upsetting, because that was one of my favorite pastimes. By using the switches I already have for my computer or phone, the Xbox Adaptive Controller lets me have the freedom to play the games that I want,” says 27-year-old Vivek Gohill, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and has given Microsoft tons of feedback on how to make the controller even better.
The controller with drop later this year for £74.99, which is roughly $100.
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