It Looks Like Microsoft is Developing an Accessibility-Focused Xbox One Controller

By Laura Kate Dale on at

As a gamer with co-ordination difficulties, I've often benefited from playing games with non-standard controllers. The Switch's split Joy-Cons allow me to spread my hands apart while gaming, turbo buttons can be helpful during button mashing quick-time events, and replaceable d-pads can make certain combos easier to input.

However, for some gamers, accessible controllers are not just a nice additional tool, but a necessity. While there are accessibility-focused controllers on PC, and companies like Special Effect customise console controllers for disability accessibility, on console you rarely see official controllers, mass produced, to help more people play games. That is, until now.

Found by Twitter user @h0x0d, the above image is apparently a promotional image for a new Xbox One controller, which Windows Central believes is aimed at disability accessibility on the system.

The unconventionally-designed controller can be laid flat on a surface like a table, or lap tray, meaning it doesn't need to be held while being used. The two large circular buttons on the right of the controller are labelled A and B, with the top of the controller featuring what are believed to be a series of inputs where additional controller inputs could be attached.

The left-hand side of the controller features three LED lights, a mode selector, a d-pad, and the Xbox navigational buttons. The controller also features a USB port, and a headphone jack.

If the promotional image does prove to be an official disability-focused controller for the Xbox One, we can likely expect it to be revealed at Microsoft's E3 press conference next month. The move would put the Xbox One ahead of its console competition for accessibility, a potential selling point for those looking to more easily play multiplatform releases.