After it leaked last week, Microsoft has officially revealed the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a very neat device made in conjunction with several gaming charities that offers a customisable new way to play games for gamers with disabilities such as limited mobility.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is available directly from Microsoft’s store for $99.99 and is the end result of years of work as a passion project within the company. It’s designed to be totally customisable and also compatible with all sorts of other plug and play solutions such as foot pedals, joysticks, and more, offering the opportunity for gamers who have difficulty using a normal gamepad or mouse & keyboard to tailor the experience to their needs.
The basic controller is a large panel with two programmable trackpads, a d-pad, and menu buttons, while on the back there’s room for all sorts of custom inputs such as large buttons or foot pedals that can be plugged in. Once it’s all plugged in, every aspect can be fine-tuned and remapped through the Xbox Accessories app.
“At Microsoft, we believe in empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,” Microsoft Head of Xbox Phil Spencer writes. “These principles have the deepest impact in how we are building products that are designed for everyone. 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.”
"Our goal was to make the device as adaptable as possible, so gamers can create a setup that works for them in a way that is plug-and-play, extensible, and affordable," he wrote. "In addition to working with common adaptive switches that gamers with limited mobility may already own, it has two large buttons built in. These buttons can also be reprogrammed to act as any of the standard controller's button inputs via the Xbox Accessories app."
A big thumbs up from Microsoft on this one. There’s a lot of charity working going on behind the scenes in helping make gaming possible for those with limited mobility, although this often relies on expensive bespoke hardware. The Xbox Adaptive Controller has been created with the input of The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged.