Microsoft has officially unveiled its most ambitious project yet in terms of inclusivity: the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
The unique piece of hardware is an innovative step forward for accessibility in gaming, and represents some of the coolest tech the company is capable of producing. At a glance, it looks like it’s going to feature several different ways to ensure gamers who need to utilize different inputs will be covered.
The controller looks unique. It’s a flat white rectangle with large black circular input pads and a row of inputs along the top. It was created with gamers who might not be able to reach the bumpers and triggers of the regular controller in mind, as well as those who simply can’t hold a controller the way you’re meant to for long periods of time. It was created in a bid to help reduce the need for DIY solutions that don’t always play well with official hardware, and to help open up the gaming sphere to anyone who wants to join.
The controller was, in fact, developed in partnership with various organizations such as the AbleGamers Charity, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged. They enlisted the help of several individuals with limited mobility to create the best end product possible.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller will work with common adaptive switches that players may already own, but it also has two large reprogrammable buttons that can act as any regular button inputs on a standard controller. Microsoft worked with a variety of third-party manufacturers while designing the device to ensure as many inputs would be supported as possible. These manufacturers include PDP, Logitech, and Quadstick as well as particular products from each company.
If you’re interested in picking one up for yourself or a loved one who needs a better and more functional way to play their favorite games, the controller will cost $99.99 and be sold exclusively via the Microsoft Store.
It’ll be making its official debut at E3 2018 in a few weeks, with a full release expected later this year.