Microsoft has revealed a brand new controller for the Xbox One, which you can see above. However, unlike your average Xbox controller, this one has been designed for gamers who would have difficulty with the traditional gamepad setup. the Xbox Adaptive Controller has used an inclusive design approach to consider gamers who might not be able to reach the bumpers and triggers or hold a traditional dual-thumbstick gamepad for an extended period of time.
Microsoft hope the adaptive controller will allow more fans to enjoy gaming, which is a pretty admirable goal for a massive corporation.
In fact, the Xbox Adaptive Controller is pretty much the first of its kind.
From Phil Spencer on Xbox Wire:
At Microsoft, we believe in empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Our CEO, Satya Nadella, has spoken about how essential it is that we push the boundaries of what technology can do in a concerted effort to be inclusive of everyone around the world. These principles have the deepest impact in how we are building products that are designed for everyone. We have been on a journey of inclusive design, which celebrates and draws inspiration from people who are often overlooked in the typical design process.
As I discussed at the annual DICE conference in February, when we truly design for all, we help make the world more equal. That’s why I’m so excited about today’s Microsoft Story Labs featurewhich shares an in-depth look at our newest piece of hardware which we believe will enable and empower even more Xbox One and Windows 10 gamers across the globe: The Xbox Adaptive Controller.
For gamers with limited mobility, finding controller solutions to fit their individual needs has been challenging. The solutions that exist today are often expensive, hard to find, or require significant technical skill to create. A number of individuals and organizations are creating custom solutions, but it has been often difficult for them to scale when most rigs need to be so personalized.
Joining the Xbox family of controllers and devices, the Xbox Adaptive Controller was created to address these challenges and remove barriers to gaming by being adaptable to more gamers’ needs. It was developed in partnership with organizations around the world, including The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged. We worked closely with them and directly with gamers who have limited mobility to assist in our development. Our goal was to make the device as adaptable as possible, so gamers can create a setup that works for them in a way that is plug-and-play, extensible, and affordable. In addition to working with common adaptive switches that gamers with limited mobility may already own, it has two large buttons built in. These buttons can also be reprogrammed to act as any of the standard controller’s button inputs via the Xbox Accessories app.
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. These inputs include PDP’s One-Handed Joystick for the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Logitech’s Extreme 3D Pro Joystick, and Quadstick’s Game Controller. We couldn’t be prouder to have their support in introducing the Xbox Adaptive Controller. More recommended partner devices can be found here.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller has been in the works at Microsoft for years, and Spencer realizes that this is merely the first step on their journey to create a truly inclusive gaming platform. The project has been a work of passion in the Xbox Lab for developers from around the globe both inside Microsoft and outside of it. And it is truly a glory to behold.
For more on the controller, you can check out the feature story on Microsoft Story Labs or check out Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie in her blog post commemorating Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
The Adaptive Controller will be available exclusively through the Microsoft Store for $99.99 USD. The company will be sharing more details on the controller at E3 in a few weeks.
Because Microsoft are a gaming company, naturally, the news of the adaptive controller came with a shiny announcement trailer, which you can check out below.