The Xbox Adaptive Controller finally launches today, bringing the world of gaming to a wider, more inclusive audience than ever before. And now that we've got a better idea of just how versatile the controller is, we're even more impressed by the potential it has to create gaming opportunities for players with limited mobility.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller was first revealed earlier this year, with little details offered outside of the fact that Microsoft was aiming to make games accessible to more players. At a glance, it seems like the controller boasts little more than a D-pad and a couple of massive buttons. Once you realize it's more of a hub device, though, it's easier to see just how versatile the contraption really is.
According to the launch announcement on Xbox Wire, the adaptive controller is the work of countless hours of collaboration between developers and folks with varying mobility needs. It retails for $99.99 and can be purchased at either Microsoft Stores or online at GameStop. Showing off just how committed the team was to inclusivity, even the packaging for the controller has been designed to be accommodating for individuals with limited mobility, hopefully meaning they can move from setup to cruising through Forza or Halo as quickly as possible.
The real genius to this new controller is the large number of inputs it has. There's a 3.5mm headphone jack directly on the device and, on either side of the controller, a USB port for left and right thumbstick input devices. Across the back are additional 3.5mm jacks for external buttons, thumbsticks and every other input on a typical Xbox controller.
Microsoft has partnered with the developers of various accessibility peripherals to make sure the Adaptive Controller is compatible with their own devices, meaning players will be able to mix and match their required hardware like never before. There are a lot of options to pick from, with examples being a joystick peripheral with a couple of buttons includes, large plastic buttons, smaller buttons that can fit under individual digits, pedals, flight sticks, foot motion controllers and even the Quadstick hands-free device that can be controlled entirely with your mouth. Again, those are just some of the examples of the various types of input devices that can be plugged directly into the Adaptive Controller, with players able to pick and choose what devices will best suit their needs.
And again, this is a Microsoft product, so you'll be able to use it to game on your PC as well as your Xbox console. We've heard rumblings of potential use on additional platforms, but nothing has been made official. We figure Microsoft will likely want to make sure everything is up and running smoothly on their own platforms before figuring out if using the Adaptive Controller on other platforms is even feasible.