Microsoft will launch a new controller designed for players with limited mobility later this year.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller, which will be compatible with Windows 10, comes with two large, central buttons plus a number of attachment slots on the top, each of which corresponds to a button on the standard Xbox controller. You'll be able to plug other buttons, joysticks, foot pads, and supported third-party controllers into those slots, essentially creating your own custom control scheme that you can remap whenever you want.
It was developed alongside organisations including The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged, as well as directly with players that have limited mobility.
Microsoft will reveal more details at E3, and the controller is set to go on sale exclusively through the Microsoft Store later this year for $99.99.
"For gamers with limited mobility, finding controller solutions to fit their individual needs has been challenging," Microsoft said. "The solutions that exist today are often expensive, hard to find, or require significant technical skill to create. Our goal was to make the device as adaptable as possible, so gamers can create a setup that works for them in a way that is plug-and-play, extensible, and affordable."
Dr Mick Donegan, founder and chief executive of SpecialEffect—a UK charity that helps people with disabilities enjoy video games—said: "This has been a milestone collaboration for us. Our experience in helping people with complex physical disabilities to access video games has enabled us to provide not only very relevant advice about features and design, but also direct feedback from a user-centred perspective.
"Microsoft have a competitively-priced product here that has massive potential to help many more people globally to enjoy the magic of video games."
The video below sheds some more light on the controller, and shows some of the possible setups. It looks very flexible, and at the moment it's compatible with PDP’s One-Handed Joystick for the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Logitech’s Extreme 3D Pro Joystick, and Quadstick’s Game Controller.
If you're interested, this post might be worth a read, too: it describes how the controller came about alongside the individual stories of some of the players it has helped so far.