Xbox Accessibility Guidelines

Microsoft has taken great strides in accessibility with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and now there’s talk of development guidelines aiming to help disabled gamers with epilepsy. Microsoft’s Senior Gaming Accessibility Program Manager, Brannon Zahand, spoke about the issue being very personal to him and his experience speaking about it with developers. He and his team have been developing “Xbox Accessibility Guidelines” with the partnership of many in the disabled gaming community. One specific guideline dedicated to photosensitivity suggests avoiding certain visual patterns in order to make the game as safe as possible for those prone to seizures. He didn’t list any specific games that would use these guidelines yet, but it’s always good to think of accessibility early in the design process. Many games already have vague warning labels, but it’s rare to see any kind of extensive customization options like this. It’s great to see Microsoft continue to make accessible games, and I’m excited for the future!

A Fish Caught ‘Em All

You may have heard about a betta fish beating Pokémon Sapphire (yes, you read that correctly), but did you know the technology used to do it has potential benefits for disabled gamers? The people over at the Mutekimaru YouTube channel recently showcased how their pet betta fish, Maurice, beat Pokémon Sapphire by using a custom-made device linked to a GameCube controller. The device tracks the fish using motion controls, and a grid display corresponds to the appropriate button press. It’s an amazing feat for sure, but the technology has amazing potential as well. Nintendo has used motion controls in their controllers for years, and the grid technology is already being used in talk-to-text programs on several smartphones. Technology like this could be implemented in assistive devices for blind gamers or those playing with one hand. It’s an unusual example, but here’s hoping Nintendo sees the potential in a technology that could benefit disabled gamers.

PUBG Mobile Update

PUBG and its battle royale children have become very popular over the years, and its developers are still finding ways to bring their game to new audiences. Earlier this year, PUBG added colorblind options, and in the recent mobile update they’ve brought even more options. The update lowers the game installation size considerably and gives players customization options for individual resource packs and maps. Players have a download tab now that lets them decide what they want to keep or delete. The PUBG mobile update also optimized the existing version of the game, adding better response time for those with older devices. Be sure to check out the full list of new functions that the PUBG mobile update has in the article above.

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