Gaming is a beloved pastime that kids and adults alike spend countless hours on each year. Although gaming is enjoyable, for people with disabilities, it can seem virtually impossible to play the same games as their peers. This is because many console developers are still working to cater to this underrepresented user base. Enter Microsoft. Microsoft is one of the biggest players in gaming, being the creator of the Xbox, as well as a major powerhouse in PC gaming. This makes them the perfect fit to develop a controller that can help people with a wide array of disabilities to be able to play the games that people love. Today, we’ll take a look at the features of this controller, as well as how it can benefit those who need alternatives.
A New Adaptive Controller
The Xbox Adaptive Controller, at first glance, may not seem out of place in any gamer’s household. After all, it has a D-pad and menu buttons that are comparable to any Xbox controller, as well as A and B buttons. Yet, what makes this controller special is its ability to connect to numerous assistive devices that can control other inputs. For example, someone can plug an external joystick into the left side of the controller if that is helpful for them. Buttons, switches, and other devices can be inserted into the many 3.5mm ports on the top of the controller, depending on the input requirements. There are even ports for the buttons that are already built into the controller, meaning it is possible to have a 100% customizable layout.
Additionally, Microsoft continues to develop new methods of accessibility for users, alongside promoting currently existing tools by other brands. On their website, they link out to products, such as the QuadStick (which can be utilized by quadriplegic players), on top of several other useful items.
Although it may seem obvious, the major benefit of this controller is inclusivity in Microsoft’s players. Gone are the days when kids feel left out due to not having the resources to play with their peers. Now, so many people with disabilities can experience what it’s like to build a home in Minecraft or play a match of Halo without struggling to use their controller. Gaming is one of the best ways to bring people together, so it is always a positive to hear about more inclusivity within the gaming industry.
In the future, we will undoubtedly see more advancements in accessibility within gaming, both from Microsoft and the industry at large. However, it is good to know that people around the world have options today that can make gaming a fun experience for all.