Xbox’s Adaptive Controller ‘a game-changer for people with disabilities’

The Microsoft product went on sale last week.

Xbox adaptive controller
Credit: Microsoft
The Xbox Adaptive Controller has gone on sale for £74.99. Designed to ‘meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility’, the product has large programmable buttons and ‘connects to external switches, buttons, mounts and joysticks to help make gaming more accessible’. It plugs in to Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs and was developed with the help of community partners including SpecialEffect (we previously covered their gaming technology using just the player’s eyes), The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation and Warfighter Engaged. SpecialEffect, the gamers’ charity, has produced a film of How to use switches with the Xbox Adaptive Controller and a film of Jack, who has cerebral palsy, playing video games with his brother Freddie for the very first time. A review on The Mighty digital health community from a parent described the launch as ‘feeling like Christmas’, the product introduction as ‘monumental’ and the product itself as a ‘game-changer’. It stated: “The Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) is a super cool piece of hardware created by Microsoft (not a small company, but Microsoft!) that’s specifically designed to allow people with a wide range of physical disabilities to access game commands and play video games alone and with friends – in short, to have fun! Microsoft is acknowledging and responding to the fact that people with disabilities really want to play Xbox games – and they are now going to make sure it can happen.” It continues: “The physical access XAC provides isn’t something everyone needs. But anyone who does need it can now have it. What a change! The gamer’s passion which so many have embraced has until now eluded many people with physical disabilities. But it’s finally here for all of us — not just the gaming, but all the social energy, social capital and friendships that go with it.” Microsoft has made a film showing exactly how the controller works and has shared stories of the gamers who have helped test the device and the history of the product’s development.
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