Gaming is for everyone–or at least it should be. For gamers with disabilities, enjoying the latest and greatest can often be a challenge due to a lack of accessible titles and tools with which to play them. Nonprofit charity AbleGamers has been working to change that for over a decade, even working with Evil Controllers to produce an accessible, though pricey, adaptable controller for the masses. At $395 (only five dollars above production costs), the Adroit Switchblade was the first controller of its kind, allowing gamers to hook up a variety of switches and adapt the controller to best suit their own abilities. The Switchblade and its wireless successor have been the only controllers of their kind on the market since 2011, but that’s set to change later this year when Microsoft releases the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
Created in a collaboration with AbleGamers, as well as The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, SpecialEffect, Warfighter Engaged, and Craig Hospital, the XAC has a distinct design with two oversized programmable buttons grabbing a lot of the surface space. There are also a whopping 19 3.5mm jacks and two USB ports, so disabled gamers can easily hook up special joysticks, switches, and any other tools they may need. And for homes with multiple gamers with limited mobility, the Adaptive Controller has three custom profiles, making it easy to switch back and forth to each individual’s preferences.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller and its affordable $99 price point is a huge step forward in “make gaming a possibility for every player,” as AbleGamers puts it. Microsoft hasn’t announced pre-order information or an available date yet, but it will be available exclusively through the Microsoft Store, and more information will be made available at E3 in a few weeks. Kudos to Microsoft for taking this incredible step, and here’s hoping other hardware publishers will soon follow.
What’s your take on the Xbox Adaptive Controller? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
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