Microsoft launched the disability-inclusive Xbox Adaptive Controller last September 2018. Computer and mobile peripherals provider Logitech followed suit with its brand-new, more affordable Adaptive Gaming Kit.
Logitech’s parent company’s senior global product manager Mark Starrett said Microsoft’s move last year was “something they didn’t think about.” The company has always sought to diversify its gaming sector, but Starrett claimed they haven’t thought to include PWDs before.
The provider contacted the tech company about collaborations soon after. Integrating PWDs into the gaming bandwagon means having to uphold strict standards, and Logitech commended Microsoft’s research for it.
Starrett also said their collaboration with Microsoft is critical for watching each AGK piece come to life. Both companies spent long months watching gamers with completely different disabilities.
AGK includes three large buttons, four smaller ones, four “light touch” buttons, two big levers, and two Velcro mats. One of its mats is more flexible and foldable than the other.
The kit’s packaging is also disability-friendly, with only one strip of tape that unfolds the box. It also has non-sealed reusable bags for every device included inside.
Compared to Microsoft’s two programmable buttons and a directional pad, the kit is much cheaper, with both prices at $99.
With Black Friday coming up, Logitech prepared one of the best gaming headsets known today, the lightweight G-Pro 5. The headset is a part of the company’s Logitech Pro Series gaming set alongside computer mouse, switches, and keyboards.
The G903 Wireless Mouse will be $70 off at Best Buy for $79.99, while the Logitech G600MMO will be $59.99 off at $27.99.
Microsoft’s Innovative, Inclusive Invention
The Xbox Adaptive Controller won the 2019 Innovation by Design product of the year award. Innovation by Design called the design a “customizable game controller designed for users with limited mobility.”
Beta testers could customize their controllers that fit entirely with their bodies and needs anytime they wanted. The device took “virtually no time to set up.”
Disabled gamers can connect their controllers in any device that can fit a 3.5mm jack like Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. XAC also features button remapping with three gaming profiles for easier access to its settings.
The controller has 19 ports for specialized controls like sensors that offer more graspable, stationary arcade joysticks.
While most products ensure the same experience for everyone, Microsoft made the device adapt to each unique user.
Microsoft’s director of devices user research founded the Inclusive Tech Lab in Redmond, Washington, solely to include gamers with disabilities.
Evelyn Tomas, a program manager for Xbox accessibility strategies and development, said the lab values education about the marginalized community. She claims employees can visit to understand how to gauge them by ability and how they play.
Microsoft claims to “intensify” its focus on inclusive devices to identify barriers and design products to prevent them.
Testers used previous Xbox controllers and found a variety of hindrances, including the problematic packaging. Some of them use teeth to open many personal items – the next Xbox shouldn’t require them of it, too.