The Xbox Adaptive Controller, designed for gamers with disabilities, is now available and ships today, Microsoft has confirmed.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller costs $100 at Microsoft Stores and GameStop Online. The new controller aims to let gamers with disabilities join their friends in playing games on Xbox One and Windows 10.
“The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a product that was ideated and pioneered with inclusivity at its heart,” wrote the company in a blog post. “We iterated on and refined it through close partnership with gamers with limited mobility and fan feedback, as well as guidance and creativity from accessibility experts, advocates and partners.”
Microsoft has created packaging that includes loops, multiple access points, hinges, levers, and ribbons to make it as easy as possible to unbox this new controller. Even the outside of the packaging that the main box will ship in has a loop that can be peeled away to reveal the main box. The main box includes a ribbon that can be pulled to activate a flap that lays flat to cushion the controller once a user pulls on the loop to remove it from the box. It’s a fascinating mechanism that shows the level of thought and detail that went into designing this.
There are no annoying twist ties, difficult-to-remove plastics, or other hindrances to getting the Xbox controller out of the box as fast as possible. Microsoft has been testing the design over the past year with a range gamers with disabilities to ensure the company got the right mix of accessibility. While the target market for the new Xbox Adaptive Controller might have a family member or a carer to help unbox items, it’s obviously a lot more rewarding if people are able to do it unassisted.
Microsoft previously set the ship date for Sept. 30 for US orders and Sept. 29 for Australian and UK orders.
a rectangle just a little smaller than a tablet and it can easily rest on your lap. It’s got four big sticky rubberized feet too, to make sure it won’t slide on a table. And the device is angled, with a slightly taller back, to make it easier for people who’ll play using their feet.
In an age of super-thin laptops and tablets, the Xbox Adaptive Controller looks beefy. The device is mostly white-to-cream on its top and sides.
On top are two big circular black buttons that are easy to trigger with even the lightest touch on their side. To their left is a directional pad that’s about 150 percent the size of a standard controller. And there are a couple buttons above the pad for sharing in-game recordings with friends and turning the Xbox console on and off remotely. One of the buttons lets you select between saved profiles in case you have setups for different people in your home — or even want to play different types of games.
The real magic is in the back and on the sides. There are two open USB connections and 19 ports that accept a standard 3.5 mm cord (the size of the plug for your headphones) that can receive signals from switches, steering wheels, pressure-sensitive tubes and other devicesto make it easier to type, control computers and play video games
How it works ?
The key feature of the Xbox Adaptive Controller is that it has ports in its back that represent each button on a standard controller. So if Luckett needs the right-trigger button to be placed just near his elbow, for example, he can put one there and then plug it into the back of the adaptive controller. Now all he has to do is tap the button, and it registers as if he’d pulled the trigger on a standard controller.
I watched as he powered up Fortnite, the hit battle-royale shooter from Epic Games. As soon as it starts, he’s playing like any other person on the screen. You’d never be able to tell he was using one controller with two big buttons near his wrist in addition to a separate controller. He’s still able to move quickly and take out opponents better than I ever would.
“It’s a really cool escape,” he said. “You get to immerse yourself into a world that you don’t normally involve yourself in.”
Gamers of all types
Video games are about escape as much as they’re about entertainment. One minute you’re sitting at home after a long day at school or work, the next you’re piloting a spaceship through an epic dogfight in a faraway galaxy.
For some people with disabilities, and particularly millennials (the oldest of whom are now nearing 40), gaming isn’t just a pastime; it’s part of their identity. And until Microsoft came along, they always accepted that this activity they enjoyed never quite worked well enough for them.