Innovation

Microsoft's Adaptive Xbox Controller Makes Gaming More Accessible

This Xbox controller is designed for people living with disabilities.
 
Microsoft’s adaptive controller is compatible with add-ons including bite switches, foot pedals, and touch-sensitive pads. It’s sold worldwide for $99.
 
“I met a guy in Europe who has quadriplegia and he came to this event and he really wanted to look at solutions to make him more productive in the workplace. And so I met this guy and I was like, come on, come over here! Let’s go game! Let’s so game real quick!” Microsoft Accessibility’s Jessica Rafuse explained. “He spent an hour playing the Adaptive Controller with another guy who was there who was blind, and then a third guy who was in a wheelchair.”
 
More than one billion people live with a form of disability—that is approximately 15% of the global population.
 
The controller features 19 3.5mm ports to enable connections with products from Microsoft and other companies. While designing the controller, Microsoft consulted organizations like the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, AbleGamers, and SpecialEffect, as well as individual gamers with disabilities.
 
“Play is a fundamental human need. It provides some incredibly tangible benefits for people,” Xbox Accessibility’s Evelyn Thomas said. “If you are unable to interact in the world directly with someone, it allows you to social engage with them.”