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Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox Adaptive Controller for disabled gamers

Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox Adaptive Controller for disabled gamers

Talking about the controller's conception, Xbox hardware programme manager, Gabi Michel, said: 'We think the traditional Xbox controller is an industry-leading design, but it's not accessible to gamers with limited mobility. Despite this, more than one in three young, disabled gamers told us they feel excluded due to a lack of accessibility.

A few days ago, an image for an interesting new controller design for Xbox One appeared online, suggesting that Microsoft was providing a way for people with limited mobility to play their favorite games.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller will work with common adaptive switches and third-party devices that gamers with limited mobility may already own. XAC connects just like a normal Xbox controller and can be used with a PC as well. Eventually, the controller passed to the next phase where the designers had to change how they look at the controller and chose to build it first party rather than farming the design out to a third-party device maker, despite having no clear idea how many Microsoft might sell. But the rest of the controls found on a standard Xbox controller are given over to a row of 3.5mm jacks at the back - one for each individual controller input, from triggers to menu buttons.

The new controller was supposedly developed in consultation with a range of charities and not-for-profit organisations, including AbleGamers and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and is created to support a variety of plugs and common inputs for accessibility. These inputs include PDP's One-Handed Joystick for the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Logitech's Extreme 3D Pro Joystick, and Quadstick's Game Controller.

Earlier this week we caught a glimpse at the big slab of a controller that had leaked that was claimed to be the new Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC).

Spencer says the Adaptive Controller "has been years in the making" and is a "passion project". What do you make of the peripheral and its accessibility? Though born with a left hand that wasn't fully formed, he played games at both the arcade and at home as he grew up and considered himself a skillful player.

Microsoft believes it has a competitively priced alternative with the Adaptive Controller as it costs $99.99 (UK price to be confirmed).

The research work has been carried out for several years, which is an important achievement in the fight against the technology accessibility gap for people with disabilities.

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