The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a massive win for gamers with disabilities

A couple of days ago there was a rumour go around that Microsoft was planning to announce a controller for players with disabilities and limited mobility. Conventional controllers have long been a problem for players with the motor faculties required to deal with all those buttons. For them, and happily, the wait for a first-party controller that could cater to a wide range of needs is almost over.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller is the result of a large scale partnership between Xbox and disability advocates like The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, SpecialEffect, Warfighter Engaged, Craig Hospital, and according to Xbox’s press release, “many community members.”

The controller is rectangular in shape and features two large programmable black buttons in the centre, perfect for those who struggle with hand or digit mobility, as well as those who live with impaired vision. It’s compatible with Xbox One and Windows PC, and its compatible with every major third-party controller for players with disabilities currently available like PDP’s One Handed Joystick, Quadstick’s Game Controller. It’s also expandable in order to cover new and niche interactive devices as they appear.

There’s no information on when the controller will be available at this stage, but Microsoft has confirmed it will be available online via the Microsoft Store and that it will retail for $99.95 USD. Australian pricing is yet to be confirmed but we’ll bring that to you as soon as we have it.

You can read all about the Xbox Adaptive Controller over at Xbox Wire, along with a letter from Xbox head Phil Spencer.

It’s an historic day for the gaming industry, it’s a great day for disabled players everywhere. Great work, Xbox. I usually have a bit of fun at your expense when I cover your announcements. No jokes this time, just love. You knocked it out of the park on this one.


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David Smith

David Smith is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.