After some rumours and leaked pictures, Microsoft has officially presented the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a peripheral born of inclusive design philosophy, with the goal being to make gaming more approachable for everyone, no matter their physical limitations.
The device's main unit, supported by both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PC, looks like a DJ sound pad controller, with a flat surface and accessible tabletop buttons, and continuing the musical analogies, it also works like a mixer table, as it allows players to map different buttons and actions to a range of additional peripherals, all connected via 3.5mm jacks and USB ports.
"Connect external devices such as switches, buttons, mounts, and joysticks to create a custom controller experience that is uniquely yours," says Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. "Button, thumbstick, and trigger inputs are controlled with assistive devices (sold separately) connected through 3.5mm jacks and USB ports."
Spencer also explains that the design has to do with "considerations of gamers who might not be able to reach all the bumpers and triggers or hold a controller for an extended period of time. It was developed in partnership with organisations around the world, including The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged."
Besides these big names, third-party peripheral manufacturers have taken part as well, including Logitech, PDP (making the One-Handed Stick, which looks almost identical to a Wii Nunchuk), and Quadstick.
To get a clearer idea of how each reprogrammable button relates to a specific separate controller, take a look at the pictures and video below. As for availability, the Xbox Adaptive Controller will ship for around 100 US dollars later this year, also coming to Europe too.
Microsoft has posted a lengthy, in-depth story on its concept and development if you want to know more, but for now what do you think about it?