Playstation Has Introduced A Controller Designed Specifically For Gamers With Disabilities
A PlayStation controller with large circle-shaped buttons and a joystick on one side will be released in December to make gaming simpler for disabled individuals.
The gaming giant has been under pressure to address an industry-long overlooked issue despite rivals releasing identical items.
Impressed gamer Jeremy Lecerf, aka Gyzmo, remarked, “I wouldn’t be surprised to see able-bodied people using it”.
Sony invited the wheelchair-bound French video game and disability expert to London to test its new controller design.
He is a HandiGamer advocate for disabled gamers in France and has myopathy.
Lecerf said the new controller is “extremely well thought-out” because the business aimed to make it accessible to people with various disabilities.
“It’s good to see that the industry is really taking the plunge” on accessibility, said the 39-year-old as he tested the “access controller” on “Stray,” a cat-themed adventure game.
He said “more and more (video game) publishers are playing the game”.
In 2021, UK disability equality nonprofit Scope found that two-thirds of handicapped gamers encounter hurdles to playing games and 40% have bought games they cannot use due to accessibility issues.
Due to ethical and financial concerns, big studios, publishers, and manufacturers look to be pursuing the matter.
“Video games have enabled me to have a life that is closer to normality or social life,” said Lecerf.
They are “extremely inclusive tool that opens you up to the world,” he said.
Accessibility is “an industry-wide trend, not limited to PlayStation,” said PlayStation Senior Technical Program Manager Alvin Daniel.
We wanted the controller to adapt to the player, not vice versa.
“No two people experience a disability exactly the same way,” he said.
– Accessories – The new device can be positioned on a table or stand and oriented in any direction.
Magnetic caps make buttons easier to push and grab, and users can designate any function to them.
German gamer Melanie Eilert stated, “For me it was a bit big, and the buttons are a bit stiff to press, but you can attach external buttons to it, which is a good thing for me to have.” With spinal muscular atrophy, she consults on accessibility.
Since Eilert can only play with her right hand, she came with her own colored buttons. Third-party producers make several accessories.
Players’ limitations, such as mouth movements or breathing, have been accommodated.
Eilert said it was too soon to compare PlayStation’s new controller to Xbox’s five-year-old controller, which permits external devices.
But she needs these devices developed.
“I was playing as a child and then I couldn’t play for about 15 years,” as her handicap developed. “So I waited long to play again.”
The Sony controller project began in 2018 and took time “because we were given a blank sheet of paper”, according to Daniel.
We tested several designs on three continents with associations and professionals before creating the final product.
The controller will retail for 89.99 euros in Europe and $89.99 in the US on December 6, about the price of classic devices.