Having a disability can interfere with a lot in life, including the ability to enjoy gaming. Disabilities that impair movement often make this difficult, and in some cases even impossible. Unfortunately for folks with this problem, there are very few viable options available to help them ease this struggle.
The upcoming Xbox Adaptive Controller, however, changes this. Designed specifically for people with limited mobility, it has a huge amount of potential. Here's how the new controller might change the face of gaming forever.
With the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a gamer can game with one hand and one foot, or one hand and their shoulder, or even one foot and their chin.
Between the dual programmable buttons, fully customizable control scheme, and the staggering 19 3.5 mm jacks that can be used to connect joysticks, keypads, and more, the Adaptive Controller definitely earns its title. The possibilities for all the different personalized rigs that could be organized for someone with a disability are endless.
This extensive adaptability allows anyone that suffers from an impairment to play video games like anyone else would, no matter what their personal struggle is like. That's an incredible step forward for the accessibility community and their effort to reintegrate with the gaming world.
We know it works
It's one thing to boast about the controller's capabilities, but it's another to see them in action, being used by the people they were made for. Thankfully, though, we're able to see that the product works excellently in its introductory video on Xbox's YouTube channel.
Throughout the video, various people suffering from a disability are shown utilizing the Adaptive Controller to great effect, with a few of them specifically noting how easy it is for them to play when using it. An occupational therapist at Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado spoke about the hardware:
Our role as occupational therapists is to get people back to 'doing'. When the Xbox Adaptive Controller came along, it acted like an Xbox controller. It just worked.
All of this proves that the controller is accomplishing what it was made to do, and that it's almost guaranteed that it will continue to be effective when it releases to the wider public later this year.
A domino effect
The Xbox Adaptive Controller may only be the first of many accessibility-focused products across the gaming industry.
Assuming the Adaptive Controller is as successful as it looks like it's going to be, it's very likely that Xbox's competitors will develop something similar in the near future. If we look past how various companies will attempt to outdo each other, we'll see that there's one group that benefits no matter what: the accessibility community.
If similar products are developed for PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and PC, than physically impaired gamers will have more and more options to choose from when it comes to deciding what kind of games they want to play. Indeed, the Xbox Adaptive Controller may only be the first of many accessibility-focused products across the gaming industry, and there's nothing I'd like more then for that to be the case. Everyone deserves a chance to experience the magic of video games. Thanks to the Xbox team, it's possible that everyone will.
Are you excited to see how the Adaptive Controller might change gaming forever? Let me know in the comments.
Upon becoming available later this year, the Xbox Adaptive Controller will cost $99.99.
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