Twitter’s WalkingCat has leaked an image of a new Xbox controller, and it’s a weird one. The device is a flat board with two huge A and B buttons, with a Dpad and menu controls on the left-hand side.
Users have been trying to figure out what on earth the device could be used for, and Windows Central’s Jez Corden seems to have the answer. According to Corden, this controller is designed specifically for accessibility.
We have no idea what else it could be used for, so we’re inclined to believe him. Other theories include a DJ deck or drum pad, but neither really hold up to scrutiny.
A History of Accessibility
To his credit, Corden points out the grooved indentations at the top of the device, which would help those with sight issues program buttons. It’s likely that the two huge buttons are also programmable, and three LEDs above the Dpad could indicate its mode. It also has a USB and headphone jack which could enable compatibility with over accessibility tools, as well as charging.
As commenter Hirox K notes, Microsoft is also pairing with children’s hospitals to introduce free Xbox’s with Game Pass. This means the controller could also be a help to those hindered by more temporary issues.
Whatever you think of Microsoft, it’s hard to argue against its push towards more accessible technology for everyone. It’s made changes to Skype, runs yearly accessibility sessions, has an AI-driven app for the blind, and chat transcription on Xbox One.
Given its gaming focus, a natural place to announce the device would be at E3 this year, but it’s possible it will come before then. Whatever the case, we’re looking forward to hearing more details.