REDMOND, Wash. - Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller designed for people with disabilities will launch later this year, company officials announced Wednesday.
The device can be used to play Xbox One and Windows 10 PC games. It also supports Xbox wireless controller features, including remapping.
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When it goes on sale, the adaptive controller will cost $99.99, according to Microsoft officials.
A select group of gamers were invited to test the device, Verge reports. The gamers said the controller makes it easier to create different setups for multiple games, allowing them to jump back and forth easily.
The new controller can be connected to external buttons, switches and joysticks with mounts that allow flexibility to customize to a player’s needs.
Gamers can also set up three different gaming profiles on the controller and don’t need to reset the device every time they switch games, which is common among modified controllers.
The product’s packaging includes several jacks on the back of the device to help people with dexterity challenges.
The controller’s rectangular shape is designed to sit in a player’s lap comfortably, so it doesn’t drop or force them to sit in an uncomfortable position.
The adaptive controller also includes threaded inserts that can be attached to a wheelchair, lap board or desk.
The edges of the controller are also rounded out to avoid injury if the controller is dropped on a foot, and the front edge is softer, so players can slide their hands into the device to rest comfortably without having to lift it.
Microsoft has been working on an adaptive controller since 2014, after a Microsoft engineer found a Twitter photo of a custom gaming controller created by Warfighter Engaged, a nonprofit organization that helps get wounded veterans access to gaming.
According to Microsoft, the organization’s founder described how difficult it was for amputees, quadriplegics and vets with traumatic brain injuries to access game controllers, and it inspired a group of team members to help make Microsoft’s controllers accessible to more people.
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