Inclusive Gaming – Microsoft’s X Box Adaptive Controller


With inclusive design, people with disabilities have their needs taken into account from the very beginning to the very end

Video games aren’t only for passing the time; they’re also a kind of escape. An escape from the rigours of daily life.

Some people who are disabled identify themselves in large part by their love of video games.

Microsoft discovered that some individuals have trouble using standard gaming controllers because of physical impairments.

Having to sit there and watch someone else set up the equipment for you while you wait a long time to switch it on is very awful. The bodged buttons manage to function sometimes. But sometimes one doesn’t, and then people have to go through the aggravating process of figuring out what’s wrong and why.

A Greater Sense of Community

In recent years, accessibility has gained renewed prominence in the technology sector. Apple has updated its Apple Watch with features that allow wheelchair users to keep track of their daily activities. Apple and Google have included features and applications that make their phones and other devices more accessible to those with hearing and reading disabilities.

Microsoft has developed assistive technologies. They have made an app called Seeing AI that can explain everything you show it like reading a menu, etc. Also available are products such as a wearable motor that can detect tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease and shake in the opposite direction, enabling them to write or hold products properly.

In addition, Microsoft’s Xbox division introduced a new feature called Copilot, which enables players to use two controllers simultaneously while controlling a single figure. Because of this, it became popular among families with small children. It also made it easier for disabled players to use a combination of a conventional controller and a modified controller with additional controls.

It’s no secret that the majority of people who are in the know about the ins and outs of the gaming industry know that the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller is the best gaming accessory money can buy. But since many of the pieces are interchangeable, accessibility advocates were able to design and produce parts to meet the demands of gamers with disabilities, such as those with limited hand mobility.

Xbox Adaptive Controller

The Xbox Adaptive Controller was developed over the course of various prototypes and ideas that began during an internal Microsoft hackathon.

Microsoft almost didn’t release this at all!

At one point, Microsoft controlled their budgets and the controller was on the chopping block. Teams working on Xbox and Surface, however, argued, stating that this was crucial for society. It’s not about making money or establishing a reputation; it’s crucial that people have the option to play video games if they so want.

Codenamed Zephyr, the Xbox Adaptive Controller is unlike any other controller on the market since it can serve as a central hub for almost any custom button, switch, or joystick designed for a user with a handicap.

Several charitable organizations collaborated with Microsoft on the device’s development, like Warfighter Engaged, the AbleGamers Foundation, SpecialEffect, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and Craig Hospital.

With inclusive design, people with disabilities have their needs taken into account from the very beginning to the very end. The procedure includes considering how the product will function for a person, taking into account the individual’s unique characteristics.

It’s a little rectangle, about the size of a tablet, and fits comfortably on your lap. It also has four large, sticky rubberized feet to prevent it from sliding around on a flat surface. The gadget is tilted and has a raised back to accommodate players who want to use their feet.

In a day of ultrathin computers and tablets, the Xbox Adaptive Controller stands out as a hefty piece of hardware. The device’s top and sides are mostly white or creamy.

The underside is similarly black, making the Velcro attachment less obvious. So what does it even mean? According to therapists, patients become angry when products seem designed for those with impairments.

Microsoft has gone so far as to redesign the controller’s packaging so that people with limited mobility can remove it and set it up on their own.

Microsoft’s goal was to create a device that could be readily modified, a controller that could take whatever form the user desired so that switching between an Xbox and a PC would be seamless. The game will treat it like any other controller.


The adaptive controller advertisement does a good job of showcasing satisfied customers and Microsoft’s cutting-edge technology, but the larger goal of the campaign and product is to give hope to disabled youth who may have accepted social isolation as inevitable.

A viewer with a disability who isn’t interested in gaming could still be persuaded to watch the video if they see that Microsoft understands their concerns and has designed a device just for them. Even if you don’t have a disability, seeing how far Microsoft would go to accommodate special populations may increase your confidence in the company’s products and services.

Not a lot of money can be made from this. The question is how to ensure that what we create is constructive, attracts more participants, and has a net positive effect.

The advertisement was featured the product was shown during Superbowl 2019, and had 29.5 million views and 250,000 likes on YouTube; the adaptable controller and Microsoft’s agency, McCann New York, won Clios for Design, Innovation, and Branded Entertainment.


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