Adaptive controller leads way in changing gaming forever

Posted 5 years ago by Nicole Pope
The original Xbox controller (pictured) has undergone a makeover to allow gamers with disability to join in the fun. [Source: Shutterstock]
The original Xbox controller (pictured) has undergone a makeover to allow gamers with disability to join in the fun. [Source: Shutterstock]

An adaptive controller created by Microsoft will enable accessible gaming for people with disability … and that’s only the beginning.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller designed with the help of gamers who find it difficult to use the traditional controllers, is truly set to change the video gaming landscape forever.

To allow gamers with disability to enjoy the popular past time, the controller can be operated with most limbs including hands, feet, shoulders, elbows, chins and even, mouths, with the ability to reprogram the two large buttons to serve as any of the standard Xbox controller functions.

It also supports external inputs from third-party manufacturers including PDP’s One-Handed Joystick, Logitech’s Extreme 3D Pro Joystick, and Quadstick’s Game Controller.

Microsoft says gamers with limited mobility find it difficult to source controller solutions to meet their individual needs.

“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,” the company says.

“The solutions that exist today are often expensive, hard to find, or require significant technical skill to create.”

The Xbox Adaptive Controller has been warmly welcomed by a number of disability advocates including Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) and Physical Disability Australia (PDA).

“Gaming is a popular pastime for many children and young people and it is critical that children and young people of all abilities can have the opportunity to participate,” CYDA Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Gotlib says.

“It is so important that we look at our environment and ensure we provide the supports necessary to ensure children with disability have equal opportunities to access and participate in all areas of life. Assistive technology is one of the ways in which this occurs.”

Ms Gotlib says at times accessible options are not available and if they are, are very expensive.

“Despite progressing in leaps and bounds in making technology more accessible we still have significant work to do in changing attitudes to disability.”

Simon Burchill, Manager of PDA says he would like to see the adaptive controller as an option at the purchase of an Xbox console, rather than an additional cost for gamers with disability.

The device was also developed in partnership with organisations across the globe including The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect and Warfighter Engaged.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller will launch later this year.