"To make the Xbox Adaptive Controller a viable solution for the widest possible range of gamers with limited mobility, we've worked closely with third-party manufacturers to support external inputs which can be plugged in to the new controller", Microsoft's Phil Spencer wrote. As the name suggests it's designed for accessibility and targets gamers with limited mobility.
While it might nearly be second nature for many gamers to pick up a gamepad and flick sticks, pull triggers and press buttons as they jump around in a first person shooter, there are many gamers who need to play with limited mobility.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is an undeniably impressive beast. Two large buttons can easily be reprogrammed through the Accessories app to function as any of the standard Xbox buttons.
To develop the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Microsoft consulted and worked with organizations such as the AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, Special Effect and Warfighter Engaged, as well as gamers with limited mobility.
Update: Microsoft has confirmed the Adaptive Xbox Controller via a lengthy post on Xbox Wire. 'The Xbox Adaptive Controller represents the positive impact technology can have, when that technology is created to include as many people as possible. More recommended partner devices can be found here.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller allows for different accessibility devices to be easily connected and mapped to standard controller functions
We were wondering why is this even an important device as Microsoft already has Xbox controller.
Microsoft has been doing loads of stuff lately to empower people who deserve extra care. We're thrilled to introduce it to the world today, tell the story behind it, and take what we have learned on our journey to inform future initiatives in inclusive design. It'll only be available through the Microsoft Store and retails for $US99, with no Australian pricing available at the time of writing. The gaming industry has become more welcoming in recent years, and Microsoft itself has made some promising changes for vision-impaired users in its software.
The controller will likely be on hand during this year's Xbox Fanfest and looks to be a remarkable way to bring players into games.
We'll report back more on the controller as more is known.