Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Microsoft Unveils New Xbox Adaptive Controller for Gamers with Disabilities

Microsoft Unveils New Xbox Adaptive Controller for Gamers with Disabilities

"To make the Xbox Adaptive Controller a viable solution for the widest possible range of gamers with limited mobility, we've worked closely with third-party manufacturers to support external inputs which can be plugged in to the new controller". A year later, a prototype was developed for an internal Microsoft hackathon that tracked a user's movements via the Kinect. As suspected, it has remappable buttons and a series of 3.5mm jacks that will support a range of accessible controller options.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller was created to address these challenges and remove barriers to gaming by being adaptable to more gamers' needs. The device can be charged through its USB-C port. This also included a large number of gamers with accessibility needs who work with and through these organisations.

It's great to see a hardware maker thinking this way about making its products more accessible to a wider audience.

An exact release date was not immediately revealed.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller - or XAC - will cost $99.

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At Microsoft, we believe in empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

However, it's the back of the accessibility controller that's truly special.

The controller will likely be on hand during this year's Xbox Fanfest and looks to be a remarkable way to bring players into games. Microsoft worked with partners such as AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect and Warfighter Engaged throughout development. Thankfully, Microsoft has made a new controller that will make it easier for some disabled people to finally play games again.

The Adaptive Controller isn't available for sale just yet, but the official Microsoft store page is already up, and you can keep track of it here. Spohn - who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, a disease that affects muscle movement and physical strength - tested out the controller with the PC using ultralight switches that require little physical pressure to activate. Make sure you check out today's feature on Microsoft Story Labs and hear directly from Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie in her blog today to commemorate Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

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