Xbox Reveals 'Adaptive Pad' For Accessible Gaming

In a bid to assist gamers with restricted mobility and to champion inclusive design in gaming, Microsoft has officially unveiled a different kind of controller: the Xbox Adaptive Pad.

Photos of the new device leaked online earlier this week but Microsoft unveiled it officially through their blog. It'll only be available through the Microsoft Store and retails for $US99, with no Australian pricing available at the time of writing.

The new controller was supposedly developed in consultation with a range of charities and not-for-profit organisations, including AbleGamers and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and is designed to support a variety of plugs and common inputs for accessibility. The Adaptive Controller has 19 inputs on the back of the device in total, as well as three inserts so users can mount it on a desk, wheelchair or lapboard.

"Our goal was to make the device as adaptable as possible, so gamers can create a setup that works for them in a way that is plug-and-play, extensible, and affordable," Phil Spencer notes. "In addition to working with common adaptive switches that gamers with limited mobility may already own, it has two large buttons built in."

Development on the controller supposedly began around four years ago, when a Microsoft engineer noticed a custom gaming controller created by the non-profit Warfighter Engaged. A year later, a prototype was developed for an internal Microsoft hackathon that tracked a user's movements via the Kinect.

More about the controller's genesis can be found over at Microsoft's Story Labs, and the official Microsoft Store listing.

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