Thursday, May 17, 2018

Xbox Adaptive Controller

Holy cow, this is stunning: Microsoft’s new Xbox controller is designed entirely for players with disabilities. Here's an excerpt:
The Xbox Adaptive Controller’s simple design belies the level of depth and customization options it offers. Its rectangular frame, which is about a foot long, features two large, slightly domed buttons on its face that can be mapped to any function through the Xbox Accessories app. Because a Windows 10 PC or Xbox One will see the device as a standard Xbox One controller, it’s compatible with every game at the system level.

On the back, there’s a line of 19 3.5 mm jacks — the standard connection for assistive input devices. These are the foundation of the controller’s adaptability; each port corresponds with a different button, trigger, bumper or D-pad function of the Xbox One controller. Players can plug foot pedals, fingertip-sized microswitches, additional large buttons or other peripherals that they may already own into these ports.

There are also USB ports on either side of the unit that map to the left and right analog sticks. Kumar and Kaufman demonstrated a nunchuck peripheral manufactured by PDP, a joystick commonly used for flight simulators and a 3dRudder foot controller as plug-and-play options that are compatible with the Adaptive Controller.

I give enormous credit to Microsoft for spending the time and money developing a product that will never be profitable. It's such an enormous contribution to a part of the gaming community that never gets enough attention, or oftentimes, no attention at all.

If you normally don't click on links, this time you should. It's a Polygon article with a wealth of detail, product images, and video. It's a staggeringly versatile device, with almost infinite options in terms of customization.

I think there's an additional market for this product, and it's people like me who can't use a controller for very long anymore without their hands hurting. Mapping buttons and triggers to foot buttons and whatnot would be incredibly helpful.

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