Microsoft’s newest game accessory, the Xbox Adaptive Controller, probably isn’t for you. That’s just an odds game, when counting the percentage of people who fall into the “limited mobility” camp that this strange, unique controller is aimed at.
But that’s the incredible thing about the XAC: that it’s targeting a particularly fractured audience. Limited mobility is a giant, vague category, after all, with so many physical ailments to account for (let alone psychological ones). And previous answers in the gaming sphere have typically been specialized, one-of-a-kind controllers for single hands, feet, heads, and more.
XAC wins out in an odd way: by leaving some major work in users’ hands. This $99 lap-sized device is truly incomplete on its own, as it’s designed from the ground up to require add-on joysticks, buttons, and more. As a result, there’s no way to fully review the possibilities Microsoft’s XAC opens up for disabled gamers. Still, we’ve put a retail unit through its paces to see what kind of accessibility canvas this revolutionary “controller” opens up – and exactly how it works – to help limited-mobility gamers and their caretakers decide if its functionality, ease-of-use, and practical cost is right for them.
This is one of the most amazing products Microsoft has ever created. This must’ve taken a considerable amount of research, development, time, and money – and all that for what is a relatively small group of underserved people in the videogame community. I love how every little detail about this product – from packaging to the final product – is designed solely for people with limited mobility.
I’m about as big a MS-hater as you can get, but I have to give credit where credit is due. They do some interesting research, but most of that doesn’t end up in real products.
This is a rare example of something that is sorely needed, by a significant subset of the population that is usually ignored, and was actually brought to market. Hopefully it’s just the start.