Microsoft’s upcomingXbox Adaptive Controller is designed to bring gaming to those with physical limitations. Microsoft collaborated with several foundations to design it, including the AbleGamers Foundation and The Cerebral Palsy Foundation. The announcement follows a leaked image of a prototype on Twitter.
Although the leaked image was accurate, the Adaptive Controller is much more nuanced than we originally thought. The two large black buttons are programmable, but they can only be assigned to one button input. That means that in order to play a game, you’ll need to purchase external devices after paying $100 for the controller.
If that sounds odd, know that Microsoft has designed this controller to fit the needs of each gamer. Considering physical limitations vary, no one controller design fits all. Hence, the need for personalized design choices.
Think of the Xbox Adaptive Controller as the foundation, and the external accessories as a means of bringing it to life. The list of compatible accessories, so far, includes 22 different devices designed by various third-party companies, many of which are already available for purchase.
The list includes a handful of AbleNet accessories, including Buddy Buttons ($65) and theGrasp Switch ($210), Pillow Switch ($125), and Spec Switch ($65). AbleNet designs tech products specifically with those with disabilities in mind. Users can also connect the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick ($40) or a one-handed Joystick from PDP that resembles a Wii Nunchuk (available in June for $20). Additionally, there’s a wide range of mounts from Ram Mounts that will be available when the Adaptive Controller launches, as well as a foot pedal, foot controller, and conventional accessories such as a controller cover, button skins, and carrying case.
All of the devices will connect via the USB inputs and 3.5 mm jacks. The Adaptive Controller will work wirelessly with Xbox Oneconsoles and Windows 10 PCs. It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery that can be charged with the included USB-C cable or with a power adapter (not included).
Microsoft didn’t provide an official release date in its press release, but the Adaptive Controller will be available in Microsoft stores sometime this year. It’s a safe bet that Microsoft will talk about the controller at E3 next month.