Last night, some news broke out that made me leap with joy. As some of you may or may not know, I have spend the majority of my life working as a Special Education teacher at the junior and high school levels. I have worked with all kinds of students with a variety of needs. So it warms my heart to see a company dedicate time to create something that makes gaming accessible for all players, no matter what limitations or challenges they face.
Microsoft announced a brand new peripheral that brings accessibility to a whole new level. The controller was developed in partnership with organizations around the world, including The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged. The controller is adaptable, allowing gamers to set it up in a way that is plug-and-play and extensible. In addition to working with common adaptive switches that gamers with limited mobility may already own, it has two large buttons built in, which can be reprogrammed to act as any of the standard controller’s button inputs via the Xbox Accessories app.
Gamers who already own other adaptive peripherals will be able to pluch into the external inputs of the Xbox Adaptive controller. These inputs can support PDP’s One-Handed Joystick for the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Logitech’s Extreme 3D Pro Joystick, and Quadstick’s Game Controller. You can find more recommended partner devices here.
The controller is $99.99 and is exclusiveluy sold through the Microsoft Store. Select Microsoft Store locations will host Ability Week starting Tuesday, May 29, through Saturday, June 2. It is a five-day experience of events that showcases hearing, vision, mobility, and cognitive assistive technologies that empower people with accessibility needs.
You can read more about the Xbox Adaptive Controller here.
This is a monumental step in giving all gamers accessibilty options, and I am thrilled that this device is available. Let us know your thoughts on it in the comments below!