Microsoft Unveils an Accessible Xbox Controller

Posted on May 17, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Hardware, Windows 10, Xbox One with 10 Comments

Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller will cost $99 when it goes on sale later this year. It’s aimed at gamers with limited mobility.

“At Microsoft, we believe in empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,” Microsoft Head of Xbox Phil Spencer writes. “These principles have the deepest impact in how we are building products that are designed for everyone. We have been on a journey of inclusive design, which celebrates and draws inspiration from people who are often overlooked in the typical design process.”

This announcement was timed to coincide with Global Accessibility Awareness Day and is part of a broader push under CEO Satya Nadella, who has a child with a disability, to ensure that the company’s products are inclusive for everyone in the world.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller, specifically, is designed for gamers on Xbox One or Windows 10 who have limited mobility and cannot easily hold a controller, or reach all of its controls comfortably, for an extended period of time. Microsoft worked with organizations like The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged to design the controller. And with gamers who have limited mobility.

“Our goal was to make the device as adaptable as possible, so gamers can create a setup that works for them in a way that is plug-and-play, extensible, and affordable,” Spencer explains. “In addition to working with common adaptive switches that gamers with limited mobility may already own, it has two large buttons built in. These buttons can also be reprogrammed to act as any of the standard controller’s button inputs via the Xbox Accessories app.”

The controller also supports third-party external inputs so that gamers can add other assistive devices and custom-tailor the experience for their needs. PDP’s One-Handed Joystick, Logitech’s Extreme 3D Pro Joystick, and Quadstick’s Game Controller are all compatible with the Xbox Adaptive Controller already.

Microsoft has an interesting feature story about the Xbox Adaptive Controller if you’d like to learn more.


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