Microsoft Reflects On Xbox Adaptive Controller And Pledges More Support Following Xbox Series X|S Release


Posted on November 28, 2020 by Nick Moreno

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While many are fixated on Microsoft’s performance on the amount of consoles sold, the firm has prioritized other initiatives that it has under the Xbox brand. For one, the Xbox Adaptive Controller. At the surface, Microsoft has created the accessible peripheral for players that cannot operate with a traditional gamepad: either affected by a disability or unable to effectively use one.

And the controller has proven to meet Microsoft’s promise well after the device’s release in 2018 as hundreds of players are now utilizing the game-changing technology. Not only that, many are saving money from looking to hundred more that could be spent on a custom gamepad if not for the Xbox Adaptive Controller running for $99.99. But controller never looked the way it was intended.

Speaking with Microsoft, the firm tells Game Informer that the controller went through many phases leading to the final product we associate it to be. “The Xbox Adaptive Controller looks absolutely nothing like the first prototype created. It changed many, many times over the course of development. The reason was that we built the device with the Gaming & Disability Community, not for them. As such, feedback constantly was rolling in that forced us to continually re-examine the design of the product during development.

“That’s why I think the community gave the Xbox Adaptive Controller such a warm reception; the end result was reflective of our long-term partnership with them on the project.” But now that the physical appearance and other features are finalized years later, Microsoft goes on to pledge that support is to follow the device after the recent next-generation release of the Xbox Series X|S.

This is also why we’ve made the Xbox Adaptive Controller compatible with the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, so that players can seamlessly transition to the new console with the configuration they know and love. It keeps the learning curve minimal and the costs associated to moving to the next generation down, something that we know is of particular importance to our community.

So when we think about new features or improvements, we always make sure we’re not just trying to add new bells and whistles for the sake of it; it has to serve a purpose and really fill a genuine need. Going forward, we are largely investigating ways we can improve upon the device through software updates.

Brannon Zahand, Senior Gaming Accessibility Program Manager

“It’s really about focusing on the user experience for people with limited mobility,” Zahand adds. “We prioritized continuity and compatibility because we don’t want to burden those who are already using the Xbox Adaptive Controller to have to learn new tech or purchase and then adapt to a new controller.

“This also goes for existing accessibility features, like copilot, narrator, speech-to-text and text-to-speech – all of these new features are available on Xbox Series X|S because we know they are helpful to a variety of gamers and they make gaming more accessible for everyone.” It is expected that projects other organizations orchestrated with the Xbox Adaptive Controller will also remain leading forward.

Such as the ability to use the peripheral to mechanize a wheelchair into an operable controller. AT Makers, Gra-V Robotics, and Able Gamers partnered together to create an accessory which enables the functionality of the controller to be configured to most electronic wheelchairs. You can read the full report by heading here.

Do you own an Xbox Adaptive Controller at all?

Source: Game Informer

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