Tech & Science Microsoft unveils its clever new Xbox Adaptive Controller for gamers with disabilities

10:57  17 may  2018
10:57  17 may  2018 Source:

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Popular console modder Ben Heck has unveiled a sneak peek at his latest creation: a modded Xbox One controller designed for gamers with physical disabilities , where they only have one functional hand

a close up of a device© Provided by The Next Web Microsoft is trying to make gaming more accessible with its upcoming Xbox Adaptive Controller, which lets you plug in an array of peripherals that players with limited mobility can use more easily than a standard gamepad.

The device – which was leaked earlier this week – comes with large programmable buttons housed in a rectangular body that’s designed to be placed flat on a table, sit comfortably in a player’s lap, or be mounted on a wheelchair or desk.

On the back, you’ll find 19 3.5mm jacks that map to all the inputs you’ll find on a standard controller, like the triggers, action buttons, joysticks, and directional buttons. The idea is connect external switches and other peripherals in any configuration that players prefer, to make their gaming experience more comfortable.

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  Microsoft unveils its clever new Xbox Adaptive Controller for gamers with disabilities © Provided by The Next Web

For example, there’s the Quadstick, a joystick you can operate with your mouth, by blowing or sipping air from its straw-like sensors. Microsoft also describes a setup using RAM Mounts with connected buttons lets you use your leg to control gameplay, as they form a sort of brace around your leg. You can also find compatible foot pedals and one-handed joysticks to use with the Adaptive Controller.

  Microsoft unveils its clever new Xbox Adaptive Controller for gamers with disabilities © Provided by The Next Web

Microsoft says that the device came together with advice from gamers as well as accessibility advocates, and with efforts at hackathons that it held in 2015 and 2016. The company opened its Inclusive Tech Lab last year at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, to take those ideas further.

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The new Xbox Adaptive Controller , which will be available later this year, can be connected to external buttons, switches, joysticks and mounts, giving gamers with a wide range of physical disabilities the ability to customize their setups.

Beyond supporting a wide range of devices, the Adaptive Controller is designed to be reconfigured at a moment’s notice – that way, it can be used by people with different kinds of disabilities and specific needs, and they can experiment with various configurations to find what works best for them, and for different games.

It’s great to see a hardware maker thinking this way about making its products more accessible to a wider audience. Hopefully, it’ll spur the development of allied peripherals and see them become available at lower price points too.

The Adaptive Controller will work with Xbox consoles and Windows 10 PCs, and will go on sale later this year for $100.

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