Mastering the various buttons, thumbsticks, triggers and touchpads of video game controllers is hard enough, but it can be near impossible for people with limited mobility and forms of disability. To open up gaming to more people who might normally miss out, Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a versatile new device that can be connected to a range of different accessories to cater to different players' specific needs.
The core of the Xbox Adaptive Controller is a flat slab of a device, complete with two large buttons designed to be much easier to access, as well as a d-pad and other smaller buttons. Where the Adaptive Controller earns its name is in how it connects to a huge range of other input devices, such as joysticks, buttons, switches, foot pedals, mouth pieces, and conventional controllers.
This allows people to mix and match their own control schemes, depending on their specific needs. Each input method can be easily mapped to different actions, and these can all be changed for different games. A foot pedal, for example, could be used as an accelerator in a driving game, and to fire in a first-person shooter. Preferred settings can be saved on gamer profiles, too, so players don't need to reconfigure it every time they play.
To develop the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Microsoft consulted and worked with organizations such as the AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, Special Effect and Warfighter Engaged, as well as gamers with limited mobility.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller works with the Xbox One console, as well as PCs running Windows 10. It will be available for US$99.99 later this year, and Microsoft says it will share more information at E3 in a few weeks.
Check out the inclusive new controller in the video below.
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