After a substantial leak, Microsoft revealed the Xbox Adaptive Controller last month, and it's now available for pre-order. The opening coincides with E3 2018, where the team is giving gamers the ability to preview the device and decide if it fits their accessibility issues.
According to Microsoft, the device has been in development since 2016, when it began collaborating with disabled gamers. It has the support of important organizations that like SpecialEffect, Warfighter Engaged and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, who have helped to hone the device.
Gamers without accessibility may not be particularly interested in the controller, but it's an admirable piece of design and engineering. The Adaptive Controller is a thin, angled surface with two giant buttons and support for a range of third-party accessories. Its buttons are reprogrammable, and it can even be used in tandem with a regular controller.
It Doesn't Come Cheap
For those who struggle to play using the current tools, this release could mean the world. The device comes in at $100, which is expensive but below the competition. For it, gamers get first-party support, impressive software tools, and a design that doesn't alienate them.
Microsoft is planning to get this to gamers who need it across the world, with pre-orders now available in many European countries and the US. Canada will soon be able to pre-order too, with more regions coming soon.
Thankfully, users in those countries won't have long to wait. The Xbox Adaptive controller will start shipping in September of this year, with plans to further refine it based on user feedback.
“Introducing the Xbox Adaptive Controller was a milestone for both Microsoft and for gamers everywhere, and we look forward to seeing new and former gamers join the Microsoft gaming family,” said Navin Kumar, director of marketing, Xbox accessories. “We believe this new controller will enable and empower more Xbox One and Windows 10 gamers worldwide.”