Xbox Adaptive Controller
|Type||Video game controller|
|Release date||September 4, 2018|
|Platform||Windows, Xbox One|
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a video game controller designed by Microsoft for Windows PCs and the Xbox One video game console. The controller was designed for people with disabilities to help make user input for video games more accessible.
In 2015, a team of engineers at Microsoft's Xbox and gaming division began working on a prototype controller to help improve accessibility for video game input. The device was designed and refined during several internal hackathon events where they built a controller that could use third-party accessories familiar to disabled gamers. In 2017, Microsoft decided to turn the prototype into a product and began collaborating with accessory manufacturers and nonprofit groups in the gaming accessibility field such as Special Effect, Warfighter Engaged, and The AbleGamers Foundation.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller has a slim rectangular frame that is about a foot in length. The face of the controller has two large, domed buttons that can be mapped to any function using the Xbox Accessories app. The face also includes a large d-pad, menu button, view button, and the Xbox home button that are featured on a standard Xbox One controller. The controller features USB ports on either side that are used to connect devices that map to analog stick functions. The back of the frame has nineteen 3.5 mm jacks that allow multiple assistive input devices to be connected; each jack corresponds to a different button, trigger, bumper or d-pad function on the standard Xbox One controller. The Xbox Adaptive Controller supports Windows 10 and Xbox One devices and is compatible with every game at a system level.
In November 2018, Microsoft released a holiday-themed television commercial entitled "Reindeer Games" to promote the controller, featuring a group of children racing to another child's home to witness him play a game with the Adaptive Controller. The commercial starred Owen Sirmons, a 9-year-old child with Escobar syndrome. A second commercial entitled "We All Win" was broadcast during Super Bowl LIII, which featured testimonials from Owen and his family on the positive impact of the device.
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