Accessibility in gaming: How Sony’s new PS5 controller is empowering gamers with disabilities

How can you make video games accessible to people with disabilities? Sony has announced a customizable “controller kit” for the PlayStation 5 designed to help players with disabilities. , I believe there is an answer.

Shown at CES 2023 in Las Vegas this week as “Project Leonardo,” the controller is round and designed to sit flat on a tabletop or wheelchair tray.

Additionally, buttons come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

“We are excited to see the design come to fruition through collaboration with the player rather than presenting it to the player in a single form factor,” So Morimoto of Sony’s design team wrote on the company’s blog.

In the post, the company said it is working with various organizations such as AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stack Up to design and create the controller.

The initiative by Sony, which created video game franchises such as The Last of Us, God of War, and Uncharted, has so far received very positive feedback on social media.

“The arthritis in my hands is getting worse, so are many other joints in my body, and it’s starting to make gaming difficult, and I’m almost crying,” one user said in response to a Sony video on YouTube. I got

“As someone who’s only tried the game twice, I’m very excited because I had a stroke in July and have been frustrated ever since trying to use a traditional controller.

Several initiatives in the gaming industry

The gaming industry has faced greater scrutiny regarding accessibility in recent years.

Video game studios and developers are taking things more seriously, such as improving visibility for people with disabilities through games like “Extreme Wheelchairing” and more thoughtful designs such as new controllers.

PlayStation President and CEO Jim Ryan said in an exclusive interview, “Project Leonardo is about what we do, with the goal of creating something truly unique and accommodating to a wide range of players with varying physical needs. It’s a product we’ve been developing for years.” to WIRED.

In 2015, French studio Dowino released A Blind Legend. This is a complete audio-video game that can be played on mobile or computer. 2021 saw The Vale: Shadow of the Crown release, promising a “3D audio experience” with haptic feedback when playing on Xbox.

Industry Guidelines Developed Guidelines were developed by the industry and developers added several accessibility features (such as colorblind mode).

In 2021, Microsoft and Playground Games will bring sign language to the car video game Forza Horizon 5.

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