Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller has made TIME Magazine’s list of best inventions in 2018. The publication highlighted its ability to bring gaming for those with disabilities like Cerebral Palsy, praising its design.
“While some gamers and small companies have engineered hacks, major gaming companies have largely remained on the -sidelines—until now. Inspired by an internal hackathon and informed by work with groups like the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Microsoft developed the Xbox Adaptive Controller ($100), an oversize version of its classic rig designed to empower as many gamers as possible,” said the publication.
Microsoft spent two years on the development of the Adaptive Controller, working with focus groups from SpecialEffect, Warfighter Engaged and more to get it right. The device is a rectangular oversized controller with large buttons that are easier to press.
It also lets users plug in additional buttons or foot pedals for more functions, working with some existing accessories. It could let gamers with disabilities enjoy titles that were previously impossible.
Software and Design
However, it’s not all about the hardware. Part of the Adaptive Controller’s innovation is on the software side. Users can reprogram buttons, but also combine it with Xbox’s co-pilot software. This means it can be paired with another controller, either for one in each hand or to play with a friend.
The design is also impressive in its pains to conform to Microsoft’s existing brand. The company could have quite easily made an ugly, plain device that sets users apart. Instead, it kept the sleek white and black design of the Xbox One S, with a glowing Xbox logo and shiny D-pad.
Other inventions that made the list include ICON Vulcan, which prints homes to help tackle homelessness. There’s also the Gravity Jet Suit, which lets users fly like Iron Man. You can read the full list here.