Japanese accessory manufacturer, Hori, is taking the best parts of the Xbox Adaptive Controller (opens in new tab), the fantastic accessibility device for PC and Xbox, and reimagining it for the Nintendo Switch. In one fell swoop Hori is opening up arguably the least accessible console around to a much wider audience.
The HORI Flex (opens in new tab) (via NintendoLife (opens in new tab), sam-eatlab (opens in new tab)) is a device much like the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) in that it allows for a wide range of external inputs to be plugged into it in order to emulate the included-in-the-box controller button map. For the XAC, that offers inputs matching the Xbox One controller. For the HORI Flex, it's the full sweep of Nintendo Switch inputs ready to be utilised.
That means the Nintendo Switch is able to be used with a much wider net of devices, which further opens the console up to greater accessibility for those that require it. And that means more people get to experience Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And that's a real good thing.
Steven Spohn, COO of accessibility charity AbleGamers, reports that the Switch is currently the least accessible console going, which suggests the HORI Flex is a welcome invention.
Japanese accessory manufacturer, Hori, has invented a new joystick interface controller that can also be hooked up to your PC similar to the Xbox adaptive controllerFor most disabled gamers, Switch is currently the LEAST accessible. The HORI Flex offers new hope for future play pic.twitter.com/2UD31kAeiCNovember 6, 2020
There's also the benefit of this new device being PC compatible, so you needn't splash out on both the Xbox Adaptive Controller for PC gaming and the HORI Flex for Switch gaming—we all know the Nintendo Switch is every PC gamer's guilty pleasure.
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Most control kits built for the XAC, such as the Logitech G Adaptive Gaming Kit (opens in new tab), will also likely work with the Hori interface.
If you're solely interested in a PC-compatible device, the XAC has one advantage over the HORI Flex. That's pricing and availability. The HORI Flex will set you back roughly $230, and is currently only available in Japan. Meanwhile, the XAC is $100 and available worldwide (opens in new tab). Here's hoping for a wider release.
Still, the more accessible gaming devices in the market the better. And the HORI Flex just goes to show that there's a budding interest in creating devices such as the XAC for a wider range of devices.