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Accessible gaming is here: discover the new Xbox Adaptive Controller

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Yesterday Microsoft officially unveiled something really special: a new controller for Xbox and Windows 10 made specifically for users and gamers with disabilities. 

This accessory is called the “adaptive controller” and its name sums up exactly why it can be accessible to people with limited mobility.

At first glance, the controller resembles a launchpad and it measures x by x in size. It features two large soft programmable buttons, along with the standard profile button and D-pad on the left.

What makes it unique is that other adaptors, controllers, and buttons can be used in conjunction with it simply by plugging into any one of the 19 3.5mm jack inputs on the back. Whether it’s a joystick, a foot pedal, or a nunchuck the controller gives its users the choice of the assistive aid that better suits them.

The device can work on its own right off the box and can be connected via Bluetooth to either a PC or Xbox One. Aside from its usability, the device is also said to be substantially cheaper at £74.99, compared to what disabled players could previously buy.

To design this product, Microsoft worked with different charities including SpecialEffect, The AbleGamers Charity, and many more with hopes to “help many people globally enjoy the magic of video games”, as well as encourage other tech and gaming giants to follow in their footsteps and respond to the need for accessibility.

The idea actually came straight from the work of a nonprofit organisation that provided enabling solutions and independence to wounded and disabled gamers. Warfighter Engaged was well aware of how difficult it can be for injured veterans to gain access to console games and by winning a hackathon in 2015 they garnered Microsoft attention. In the following years, the controller was refined as the Xbox platform gained more accessibility features.

For more information about the story and specifications of the adaptive controller, you can have a look at Microsoft website here.

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