Sony has recently developed a new accessible controller specially designed to aid gamers with disabilities.
While playing video games has always been a fun hobby for many, it has also sadly posed a challenge for people with disabilities who wish to play.
Generally speaking, the standard controllers for consoles such as Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo have proven to be difficult or even downright impossible for many people with disabilities to operate.
As losing the ability to play games can exacerbate issues such as social isolation and depression, the issue of accessibility in gaming is a very important one.
Accessibility in gaming – an important issue
Mark Barlet, founder and executive director of the nonprofit company AbleGamers, when speaking about the importance of accessibility in gaming, said, “Show me a person with multiple sclerosis, and I’ll show you a person who can be hard of hearing.
“I can show someone who has a visual impairment or a motor impairment. So, thinking on the label of a disability is not the approach to take.
“It’s about the experience that players need to bridge that gap between a game and a controller that’s not designed for their unique presentation in the world”.
Barlet went on to explain that his organisation, which has worked in conjunction with both Sony and Microsoft concerning developing their accessible controllers, has seen that thanks to social media, gamers themselves have been able to make their voices heard.
“The last five years, I have seen the game accessibility movement go from indie studios working on some features to triple-A games being able to be played by people who identify as blind. In five years, it’s been breathtaking,” he stated.
The Sony Access controller – making gaming more accessible
Sony’s new Access controller for the PlayStation has been designed to make gaming a lot easier and more accessible for people with disabilities, granting them the ability to play games as easily as the average person.
Over five years in the making, Sony PlayStation is proud to release its new highly adjustable video game controller, which has been meticulously designed for gamers suffering from various physical challenges.
The Access controller will officially go on sale worldwide on 6 December and will cost $90 (€91). Preorder yours here.
Paul Lane – uses his mouth, cheek and chin to play videogames
Paul Lane is one of many gamers who have worked with Sony since 2018 to help design their Access controller.
Paul said about his experience with the new controller, “I game kind of weird, so it’s comfortable for me to be able to use both of my hands when I game.
“So I need to position the controllers away enough so that I can be able to use them without clunking into each other.
“Being able to manoeuvre the controllers has been awesome, but also the fact that this controller can come out of the box and ready to work”.
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