Sony unveiled yesterday Project Leonardo, a new accessible controller kit for its PlayStation 5 console. Sony has partnered with organizations such as AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, and Stack Up to design Project Leonardo, which will be compatible with many third-party accessibility accessories.
“Our team tested over a dozen designs with accessibility experts, looking for approaches that would help address key challenges to effective controller use. We finally settled on a ‘split controller’ design that allows near free-form left/right thumbstick repositionability, can be used without needing to be held, and features very flexible button and stick cap swapping,” explained So Morimoto, Designer, Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Project Leonardo’s split design combines an analog stick with a customizable gamepad that also has four 3.5mm ports to connect to external switches and various third-party accessories. Players will be able to use a single Project Leonardo controller, combine two of them together, and even add a regular PS5 DualSense controller to the mix.
PlayStation 5 gamers will be able to remap buttons and save up to 3 control profiles on their console. The profile button on Project Leonardo will also let players switch between profiles on the fly.
Until now, Microsoft was leading the effort to make console gaming more accessible with its Xbox Adaptive Controller, and it’s good to see the biggest console maker catching up. Project Leonardo is still in development at Sony, and the accessibility controller kit doesn’t have a release date yet.
As part of its CES conference yesterday, Sony also announced that it has now sold 30 million PlayStation 5 units worldwide, with December being “the biggest month ever” for PS5 console sales. Moreover, Sony will launch its PS VR2 headset next month, and it plans to have over 30 games available at launch.