Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller aims to get players with disabilities in the game

Gaming / Tech / Xbox

The new controller “was created to address these challenges and remove barriers to gaming by being adaptable to more gamers’ needs.”

Leaked in a tweet earlier this week, Microsoft has made the Xbox Adaptive Controller for gamers with disabilities official. Working with organizations like The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged, the new controller “was created to address these challenges and remove barriers to gaming by being adaptable to more gamers’ needs.”

“For gamers with limited mobility, finding controller solutions to fit their individual needs has been challenging,” wrote Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. “The solutions that exist today are often expensive, hard to find, or require significant technical skill to create. A number of individuals and organizations are creating custom solutions, but it has been often difficult for them to scale when most rigs need to be so personalized.”

The controller itself is rectangular in shape and is roughly 11″ wide and 6″ deep. It features two large black light-touch enabled buttons, a D-pad, Xbox button, Xbox power button, and a profile button which allows easy switching between three different profiles. The back of the controller has nineteen 3.5mm ports — one for each button, direction, or trigger found on the Xbox One controller — which allow users to plug in specific accessibility devices for specific functions.

Xbox-Adaptive-Controller-ports

The Xbox Adaptive Controller allows for different accessibility devices to be easily connected and mapped to standard controller functions.

“We’re often cobbling together all sorts of things to get a similar effect,” said Bill Donegan from the U.K.-based nonprofit SpecialEffect. “We use accessibility switches for almost everyone we work with, so in terms of the flexibility, this is going to be amazing for us, he said. It makes our job far simpler, because we can concentrate on positioning switches and joysticks for the user rather than trying to cobble things together.”

The Xbox Adaptive Controller will launch later this year exclusively through the Microsoft Store for $99.99USD. Microsoft will be sharing more information about the controller at E3 in a few weeks. In the meantime, you can read more about it in the links below.

What do you think about the new Xbox Adaptive Controller? Will you or someone you know benefit from such a device? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Xbox Wire  Source: Microsoft Story Labs
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