Microsoft Reveals A New XBOX Adaptive Controller For Players With Disabilities

a green sign above a store© Provided by IBT US

Microsoft on Tuesday took a major step towards being more inclusive to video game enthusiasts who have disabilities. The tech giant officially launched its Xbox Adaptive Controller, aimed at helping gamers with limited mobility enjoy Xbox One games without needing to build or commission expensive, custom controllers for their individual needs.

The primary place to get the Adaptive Controller right now is directly from Microsoft’s Xbox website. Spending $99.99 will get customers the large, rectangular controller and a USB-C cable right out of the box. The controller features two large, customizable buttons, a directional pad and 19 jacks on the back for a variety of different accessories.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller is now available—and it's here to make gaming more accessible than ever: https://t.co/WU1DJW2Q6Zpic.twitter.com/lKhdreFfro

— Xbox (@Xbox) September 4, 2018

There are some hidden costs to the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The default controller on its own will likely not work for every player’s individual needs, so Microsoft has a separate store page for a litany of different accessories that are compatible with the device. These include different mounts for wheelchairs, specialized control mechanisms and even a foot pedal.

Some of those accessories will cost more than the controller itself; the Quadstick FPS controller, for example, is listed at $399 on the Xbox website.

Still, the Xbox Adaptive Controller represents an important step in creating a more accessible video gaming environment for players with limited mobility. There are countless examples of players needing to create their own controllers to enjoy their favorite games, often at significant prices. Some services, like The Controller Project, take requests for custom-built devices.

© Provided by IBT US

Microsoft did something rivals Sony and Nintendo have yet to pull off: build a fully supported and official Xbox controller for those players. Xbox head Phil Spencer noted back in May, when the Adaptive Controller was announced, that finding a way to mass produce these devices would set it apart from previous solutions for gamers with disabilities.

“For gamers with limited mobility, finding controller solutions to fit their individual needs has been challenging,” Spencer said. “The solutions that exist today are often expensive, hard to find, or require significant technical skill to create.”

Microsoft worked with organizations like AbleGamers, Warfighter Engaged and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation to come up with something that could theoretically work for players with disabilities. The Xbox Adaptive Controller also works with Windows PCs, not just Xbox One consoles.

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