Xbox Adaptive Controller | Is Gaming Closer to Being More Accessible?


James sent me a link a few days ago about a leaked image from Microsoft, they had made an adaptive gaming controller which is a huge step and since then it has been confirmed that this is in fact real, you may remember I did a post about wanting developers to develop accessible controllers for their consoles well Microsoft has gone and done it! There has been a mixed amount of feedback on this controller and a lot of it is people not understanding what an adaptive/accessible controller is, rather than looking it up they mock the way it looks and state they will never use it, unless you need an accessible controller you won't need to use it anyways but there should be more understanding of disabled gamers being able to play games and not pushed out due to a controller not having the right adaptions.


In an interview with Ars Technica Phil Spender head of Xbox said that this will never turn into a competitive thing between Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft and that the controller doesn't have to have the Xbox logo on it, so could this maybe imply that disabled players will be able to eventually use this device on other consoles? Who knows! Don't get me wrong it is accessible and I know I may get people saying what about those who use eye trackers to play etc I understand they will still be excluded from this controller but its still accessible to a certain extent which is a step in the right direction. Although there has been negative feedback surrounding this controller the number of people who are just as happy as many are awesome, including my twitter followers, I have the most understanding people who follow me who want gaming to be just as accessible as I do which shows me that not everyone is as ignorant as ableist as I first thought.


The controller will have two large buttons (touchpads) which are programmable and 19 jacks which can be connected to accessible controllers such as joysticks and buttons which will make playing games that much more easier for a disabled gamer, some people have said it looks like a stove but to those who have never seen an acessible controller the buttons are usually bigger and easier to press and not every adatped controller will be the right fit for someone, sometimes you have to find the right controllers that are confortable to use rather than just using one kind of adapted controller thats why the jacks on this controller are there. The controller will have up to 25 hours battery life which was done so that it will last long enough before the player has to worry about charging it up again, the price isn't too bad at $99 which is cheaper than I expected it to be, I'm not sure how much the adaptions for it will be though. There are various ways the big buttons (touchpads) on this controller can be used, one of which is with the touch of your elbow, some people will have to find a completely different way in order to use a controller for their needs so having touchpads as big as they are on the controller is a huge help in being able to play a game. I hope more developers follow suit and we see an increase in adaptive and accessible gaming in the future, it's amazing what you can create with technology these days, gaming is for all, not just able-bodied people.

I'm looking forward to seeing the reviews for this controller when it comes out later this year but for those who can't afford a controller like this the wonderful team at SpecialEffect help disabled gamers and it's free, they do rely on donations though. To see more about how the Xbox Adaptive Controller works check out the video below:


Elle May
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