Nintendo Switch Accessible Controller
Disabled gamers looking for some kind of assistive controller for the Nintendo Switch may finally have some options. Recently, Japanese company Hori released the Nintendo licensed “HORI FLEX”, an accessible controller for the Nintendo Switch. The Flex connects to the Nintendo switch or Windows PC through an adapter. Standard accessibility switches and some USB joysticks are compatible with the controller. Also, there’s a remapping application included for the user to program six different Nintendo Switch button profiles and six different Windows PC configurations. There’s even some form of eye-tracking support, although it’s unclear what kind of software is required. For now, the Flex is only available in Japan, and players will still have to shell out a whopping $230 if they want this accessible controller.
Xbox Series X Accessibility Features
The next generation of consoles arrives this week, and Microsoft was not shy about showcasing the impressive specs for the Xbox Series X. What about accessibility? Well, this week they released a detailed list of accessibility options available on the new console. For instance, there is now a narrator function available that reads text, buttons, and other items on screen. Players can also navigate the Xbox Series X menu using just a microphone if they prefer. Most interesting are the customizable controller settings. Not only can you remap buttons on the controller, but if needed you can turn on something called “Co-Pilot”. This mode combines the input of two separate players to work the controller together. It’s unclear how this will work in practice, but if done correctly it could really help gamers with fine-motor impairments. It’s exciting to see Microsoft try new and unique ways to make the Xbox Series X accessible for everyone.
PS5 Accessibility Features
Last week Sony released detailed information about accessibility options coming to the PlayStation 5, focusing on the haptic feedback in the DualSense controller. This week Sony uploaded a video highlighting the recommended settings for the new console. Although they mainly covered features covered previously, some new accessibility options like 3D audio were announced. You can enable 3D audio for your headphones, so you will hear directional sound coming from the right, left, above, and below. You can also adjust your 3D audio profile and customize the individual sound levels. This option could be very helpful for gamers with hearing impairments and blind players. Expect to see more accessibility features announced for the PlayStation 5 as the console becomes available later this week!