Microsoft-owned Xbox has created a controller to meet the needs of gamers with disabilities.
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The Xbox Adaptive Controller, which can be used on Xbox One and Windows PC, is much larger than traditional controller devices and boasts a range of features designed to make gaming more accessible.
The gaming device does not just address one specific disability but serves as a base on which a number of extensions can be added to fit a variety of special needs. For example, the controller has two large programmable buttons and 19 inputs that can be connected to various accessories to customise the ideal setup. Even the packaging was tailored to be opened by people with limited mobility.
Microsoft developed the Xbox Adaptive Controller alongside charity organisations such as the AbleGamers Charity, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, SpecialEffect and Warfighter Engaged.
To promote the new product while emphasising its commitment to inclusivity, Xbox released a two-minute film called ‘We all Win’ illustrating how the controller had improved the gameplay of several young gamers with disabilities. Created by McCann New York, the film aired during the Super Bowl 2019.
RESULTS / According to McCann New York, Xbox’s Changing the Game campaign generated $35m in earned media while earning the brand a 246% increase in social voice. The agency’s case study video also said it was the ‘#1 most effective Super Bowl ad’.
It also won a Grand Prix in Brand Experience & Activation at the 2019 Cannes Lions festival.
INSIGHTS / Microsoft’s disability- friendly Xbox controller is no flash-in- the-pan attempt to boost its diversity credentials. The gaming device is the latest in a series of activations around creating more accessibility and inclusivity through technology. For example, the company has previously developed an app to help blind people navigate surroundings, dictation tools for people with dyslexia, as well as classroom materials to help visually impaired children learn how to code. The brand’s track record of inclusivity safeguards it against accusations of launching a CSR stunt.