The new Xbox Adaptive Controller will make gaming accessible to people with a broad range of disabilities. Dan awoke in a hospital in June of 2010, four days after a hit-and-run driver almost killed him while he was riding his motorcycle, to the sinking knowledge that he’d lost the use of his right arm and hand. Read the rest of this story (from December 2019 Newsletter)

Adaptive Gaming is certainly not something new, but as I’ve been exploring more in depth, it is amazing to find so many products out there. Some of these are newer to the market and it seems, not very well publicized. Xbox has come out with an adaptive controller board that integrates well with the Xbox console. If you can’t manipulate the stock controllers, you will also need  some adaptive buttons that connects to the Xbox adaptor. The premise is that all these adaptive controls are easier to manipulate than the standard controller and they replace each function on the controller. One of the things to consider is the complexity of the game you are trying to play versus the functions needed on the controller to function inside the game. More complex action games require more controller functions and thus if using adaptive controls, you would need many buttons and may not be able to completely get the right control functions.  As you can imagine, this gets quite complicated.

I’ve been doing some experimenting here and have started to get a handle on some of this. I still find it complicated, but it is exciting to reach some of the successes that offer people like myself that have hand function issues (or worse) that prohibit proper functioning of a standard controller. Some of these successes include; adding adaptive switches to the Xbox adapter and using the Xbox console, doing the same thing, but using a pre-programmed flash drive, using the Xbox adapter on the PS4 console, and finally, I’ve been able to set up a sip/puff system for someone to use the PS4 console. The games I’ve been using so far are very basic, but you can do it and successfully play the game!  Along with mastering these adaptive controls, I’m also working on adding an adaptive joystick to the Xbox adapter which will allow me to expand the complexity of the games. I have also brought in a driving console and I will explore mounting them and setting them up with some type of hand controls (as with driving your car). I encourage anyone to comment on this and share their experiences or to ask more questions about this. You can also contact me directly.