Now, when it comes to Xbox console gaming, Microsoft says disability is no longer an inability. Thanks to the newest family members of Xbox controllers and devices dubbed the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
Introduced on March 16 by Phil Spencer, the Head of Xbox, Microsoft has launched its newest set of gaming controller designed to enable and empower gamers with limited mobility enjoy the Xbox One and Windows 10 gaming just like everyone else.
“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,” said Spencer.
That is not to say that people with limited mobility were previously totally unable to play their favorite titles on the Xbox or any other gaming console. The controllers that were in the market were often expensive, hard to get your hands on, and required quite a lot of technical skills to create.
There were already a number of third-party players who were creating custom controllers for the various gaming console. However, it has proved difficult for them to scale their production as the controllers always need to be personalized for each kind of gamer with limited mobility.
Microsoft believes the Xbox Adaptive Controllers have addressed these challenges and removed the barriers to gaming as they are adaptable to more needs by players with limited mobility. Xbox Wire – the R&D division of the Xbox productions – partnered with other stakeholders in coming with these rigs.
These stakeholders include the Craig Hospital, The AbleGamers Foundation, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Warfighter Engaged, and SpecialEffect. Xbox Wire worked closely with these organization at the same time engaging gamers directly with limited mobility while developing the rigs.
The mission was to make the controllers as adaptable as possible so that each different gamer can customize the rigs and in a plug-and-play manner, which is both extensible and affordable. In the design of the rigs, Xbox Wire included the all-too-familiar two large buttons, which have now been reconfigured to acts like the standard controller’s button inputs through the Xbox Accessories app.
Microsoft has also endeavored to make the Xbox Adaptive Controller as viable as possible by working with as many third-party manufacturers as possible. In order to comes up with external inputs that can be simply plugged into any new controllers.