Microsoft Launches Xbox Controller For Gamers With Disabilities

Posted: May 23 2018, 8:05am CDT | by , in Technology News


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Microsoft launches Xbox Controller for Gamers with Disabilities

Xbox Adaptive Controller, Microsoft Comes to the Aid of People with Mobility Issues.

For a long time, gaming industry has ignored disabled people, but finally Microsoft came forward with a product that enables people with limited abilities to access their games like normal people.

Microsoft representatives told that at first, they were only making a product for hardcore gamers, who needed more control over the games. However, when they released Xbox Elite controller in 2015, they discovered that their new controller was much in demand with people with disabilities. Players with limited abilities loved this new controller because it gave them more control for remapping buttons and saving custom control profiles according to their specific needs, it even allowed customization by adding third party hardware to the controller.

“The first learnings we had about accessibility [from the Elite controller], we didn’t do that in as intentional of a way,” said Navin Kumar, director of product marketing at Xbox, during an interview with Polygon last week. “We kind of learned about it as a secondary consideration.”

After learning about the scope of Xbox Elite Controller, Microsoft started working on a prototype that can be customized with different third-party accessories that are commonly used by gamers with mobility issues. To turn the prototype into a product Microsoft collaborated with many groups that were already working in the field of accessibility.

Some of these groups included Ablegamers, Warfighter Engaged, SpecialEffect, etc. Microsoft consulted these groups about various requirements and options available for accessibility in the gaming field. Apart from these they also consulted with Craig Hospital and Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

Microsoft’s team working on this controller wanted to offer a single product that can cater to the needs of people with different disabilities.

“We cast a really inclusive map of partners and individuals to help us build this, in a much bigger way than we have normally for our products,” said Kumar.

According to Craig Kaufman, director at AbleGamers, this new adaptive controller is a huge achievement for their team, being recognized and work as a consultant for company as big as Microsoft is a great accomplishment for them.

“For a very long time, we were advocating that everyone should be able to play video games,” said Kaufman. “And seeing Xbox make a device like this is showing that, from the top level, Xbox [is] going, ‘Yeah, everyone should be a part of the awesome thing that is video games.'"

According to Microsoft, they have designed the adaptive controller to be compatible with existing disability peripherals; they want the controller to work with most of the third-party accessories already out in the market.

The new Xbox Adaptive Controller will come with a price tag of $ 99.99, it will be much cheaper in comparison to what disabled gamers spent in the past, sourcing parts from different vendors and hacking them all together, it required a lot of money, time and energy to do that.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller will be available for retail at Microsoft Store later this year.

This story may contain affiliate links.


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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
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