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Microsoft has been receiving a lot of praise for its attempts to make gaming more accessible for disabled gamers. This initiative has been spearheaded with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which is a collection of peripherals that can attach to a base controller designed to appeal to those who have motor skill disabilities, physical ailments preventing full mobility of the hands, and other prohibitory conditions that limit the full functionality of the body. However, one of the more surprising things about the Xbox Adaptive Controller is not just its feature set designed to appeal to disabled gamers, but it's also receiving praise for the fact that the entire packaging setup has been designed with disabled gamers in mind, making it both accessible to use and accessible to open.
The tweet explains that the team knew that packaging would be an important part of the delivery process for the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which is why it was a priority to make it as accessible as possible and trouble-free for all users.
The tweet is accompanied by a short video clip showcasing the unboxing of the controller and how it's designed to make it easy to get into it without requiring the sort of steps usually associated with unboxing high-tech equipment.
So the first thing that it features that's different from other boxes is that you can just pull the tape strip off the side to open it up. There's another piece of tape on the actual controller box that unwraps a strap, which you can then pull to lift the game controller box open.
Inside is the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and you can slide it out by pulling on another handle. This makes it so that it's as easy to get into as it is to use.
Kevin Marshall, the creative director of Microsoft's packaging design studio, explained in the news piece on the Microsoft website that it wasn't about trying to make a statement but about trying to make it effective and easy to use...
With this product in particular, we felt a heightened responsibility. We wanted to create a package that was clearly designed with the end user in mind, and we wanted it to feel like it was just part of our ecosystem. We wanted it to be empowering, but we didn't want it to stand apart from any package we create.
This is the result of lots of testing, lots of experimentation, and a lot of creative design work behind the scenes to get the box looking as aesthetically standard as possible, while also making it as accessible as possible for disabled gamers.
One of the key determiners for how the box would be designed came from the feedback that adamantly stated that the box shouldn't require teeth to open it. So that's why it has tape and pulley loops so that you can open it with ease... without having to use your teeth.
There are also a number of other peripherals that are compatible with the controller, which will be available from the Microsoft Store. The peripherals will be designed to plug-'n-play using the 3.5mm jacks on the standard Xbox controller, giving all manner of gamer a variety of options in which to use the controller.
This kind of unique packaging won't be an isolated case, or at least the designers hope it won't be. According to the article, Microsoft may be using the accessibility of the packaging for other future Xbox projects as well.