In the lab with Xbox's new Adaptive Controller, which may change gaming forever – Ars Technica

A look inside the Xbox Inclusive Tech Lab as they reveal their new controller with improved accessibility. (Captions available.)

REDMOND, Washington—The Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC), slated to launch “later this year,” looks almost incomplete at first glance. The clean, confusing-looking slab, nearly the length and width of an Xbox One S, has no joysticks. The usual selection of Xbox inputs has been reduced down to a few menu buttons, a D-pad, and two black, hand-sized pads.

Don’t let the pared-down design fool you. The XAC is one of the most unique and widely useful control tools Microsoft has ever designed, and it seems poised to change the way many players interact with the games they love.

  • This is the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC), mounted on a tripod. You can see a hint of its back-side panel with indented labels at the top… Sam Machkovech
  • …and these lead to 19 jacks, all for 3.5mm plugs. That is the assistive device standard for plugging in add-ons. Sam Machkovech
  • MikeTheQuad, a tetraplegic gamer and member of the Warfighter Engaged community, shows off the XAC in action—and this photo’s angle shows how 3.5mm devices plug into its back. They can be hot-swapped at any time during a gameplay session should a player wish to change a device’s button use. Microsoft
  • MikeTheQuad hangs out with another XAC tester with a decidedly more elaborate series of accessories. Microsoft
  • This kind of specialized rig certainly costs more than what Mike showed off during the reveal

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