Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller has once again demonstrated how it can help make games accessible to more players.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is designed to work with other specialised controllers for disabled players, with a wealth of outputs and inputs mapped to the different functions, allowing it to serve as an easy-to-use hub.
Rory Steel, head of Digital Jersey Academy, a tech academy in the UK, has created a custom controller that utilises the Xbox Adaptive Controller, allowing his daughter to play Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch.
Controller success! Buttons tomorrow as I need a slightly larger drill bit than standard. Off the @BandQ then trials being in the morning. #accessibility @Nintendo #switch @Microsoft #adaptiveController pic.twitter.com/gxQPjZlP20
— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 18, 2020
Daughter Ava suffers from fine motor neurone problems which make it hard to perform basic functions on a typical controller. Steel’s solution was to hack together a controller on the shape of an arcade stick, and connect all the different functions to the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The Adaptive Controller then carries the signal to the Switch, with the help of a third-party dongle.
Finished! Ava gives my homemade #accessibility controller V1.0 the thumbs up. She can play @Nintendo #BreathoftheWild on her #switch like her friends now. All thanks to @Microsoft 🙌 #adaptiveController #XAC @brycej @ArranDyslexia @shanselman pic.twitter.com/dOhGnUFZa0
— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 19, 2020
The larger sticks and bigger buttons, not to mention the more spread-out layout, all make it possible for little Ava to enjoy the game. Since Steel shared the tweets chronicling his experience, the response has been amazing. Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer even praised his work.
But that’s not all, Steel told Channel103 that he’s been approached by Logitech and Microsoft to help create an improved version of this design. Although he’ll be exploring those opportunities, he’s keen to share the initial design to make it possible for anyone to create it themselves.