Microsoft's new Xbox controller is aimed at those with disabilities

The Xbox Adaptive Controller will be available later this year.

Press Association
Last updated: 18 May 2018 - 6.43pm

A new Xbox controller which aims to make games more accessible to people with disabilities has been welcomed by gamers.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller allows gamers with limited mobility to plug in their own joysticks, buttons and switches to mimic a standard controller, Microsoft said.

[Read more: 5 things an Xbox One can do apart from play games]

This means users will no longer have to rely on the default buttons that come with the Xbox and can choose which assistive aids carry out each function.

(Microsoft)

The wireless device, which is powered by an internal battery, features two large programmable buttons, USB ports, and 19 jacks for external thumbsticks and buttons.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller, which is compatible with Windows 10 and costs just under £75, was developed in collaboration with gamer charity Special Effect, among others.

“Our experience in helping people with complex physical disabilities to access videogames has enabled us to provide not only very relevant advice about features and design, but also direct feedback from a user-centred perspective,” said Dr Mick Donegan, chief executive of the charity.

“Microsoft has a product here that has the potential to help many people globally to enjoy the magic of video games.”

George Dowell with the Xbox Adaptive Controller (Microsoft)

It comes as a report by charity Muscular Dystrophy UK found that more than one in three people said they could not play video games because of their disability.

Yet 80% of those surveyed felt the gaming industry “does not consider the needs of disabled gamers”.

George Dowell, 25, who was left paralysed from the chest down after he broke his spine in a car crash in 2010, was among the first people to trial the device in the UK.

He said: “It’s brilliant. Before this I used arcade sticks that can be adapted for button ports, but they were unreliable, and I often had to ask someone to help me make them work.”

He added that the new controller has given him more independence.

The Xbox Adaptive Controller will be released on Microsoft Store later this year.

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