May 17, 2018 // 10:13 a.m.
Microsoft has confirmed rumours that it is working on an Xbox One controller designed with the differently-abled in mind.
Designated as the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Microsoft's latest creation is billed as 'the most flexible adaptive controller made by a major gaming company', and will launch with both Windows and Xbox One support. The project began, Microsoft explains, in 2014 when an unnamed engineer at the company saw a customised controller from non-profit veterans' organisation Warfighter Engaged which then inspired a 2015 hackathon entry. Further refinements were made a year later, and now the device is ready for launch following the release of the Copilot function which allows two Xbox One controllers to be treated as a single controller - meaning the Adaptive Controller can work alongside a traditional controller.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is an undeniably impressive beast. Designed to be used on a desktop surface, the controller features an array of ports - all labelled such that the user doesn't need to turn or pick up the device to see what goes where - to allow additional controllers, headsets, and other assistive devices to expand on its base capabilities - effectively allowing, if the user wants, to map a physical button to each individual control point.
'Gaming can be one of the great equalisers and great unifiers for society, but we need to do more to broaden that audience,' claims Microsoft's Phil Spencer of the inspiration behind the device. 'The Xbox Adaptive Controller represents the positive impact technology can have, when that technology is designed to include as many people as possible. Whether someone lost the ability to play or they've never been able to try gaming in the first place, this controller will hopefully make having fun in the gaming community a possibility.'
More information on the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which will launch later this year for $100 (likely to translate to around £100 inc. VAT in the UK) can be found on Microsoft's detailed product story.