Sony’s new PS5 Access Controller with improved accessibility is here
After announcing earlier this year that a new accessible PlayStation 5 (PS5) controller was under development, Sony Interactive Entertainment, the gaming arm of the Japanese multinational, has at last confirmed the global launch date, set for December 6, as it opens up pre-orders for the new controller.
According to Sony, the PlayStation 5 Access Controller allows users with disabilities to craft their own gaming experience thanks to its personalisation options. Through these options, the Access Controller addresses common challenges faced by players with limited motor control, such as the difficulty of being able to press small clusters of buttons with accuracy.
Fully customisable, the new Sony controller can be configured to meet the specific needs of these players, allowing them to personalise their layout with different buttons and stick caps in various shapes and designs, operate the controller from any 360° orientation, and connect third-party accessibility accessories using the controller’s four industry-standard expansion ports.
In addition, on the PS5 console there are a number of settings for the Access Controller that gamers can configure based on their specific needs. They can map buttons to create up to 30 control profiles, adjust stick settings, toggle commands on/off, or disable buttons so as to stop accidental pressing. Players can also pair up to two Access Controllers and one DualSense wireless controller and use them collaboratively.
“We were inspired by the idea of all players enjoying the world of PlayStation together. Our team tested over a dozen designs with accessibility experts, looking for approaches that would help address key challenges to effective controller use,” said So Morimoto, Designer, Sony Interactive Entertainment when the controller was still under development.
New Access Controller
| Credit: Sony Interactive EntertainmentGaming without barriers
Striving to offer gaming experiences to players of all abilities is not new to Sony. For the company, accessibility is one of its core values. “At Sony Interactive Entertainment, we strive to build a future for players of all abilities. We use technology to advance accessibility tools, products and services for our PlayStation community, and to guide our mission: to connect the world through the power of play,” Sony Interactive Entertainment’s president and CEO Jim Ryan states on the corporate website.
To that effect, the maker of PlayStation is already offering customisable options for some PlayStation Studios games and special features in PS4 and PS5 consoles. The Access Controller for PlayStation 5 is the latest effort in the company’s ongoing accessibility endeavours.
“For the past five years, we’ve been on a journey with accessibility organisations and experts to create a versatile controller kit that enables gamers with disabilities to play more comfortably and for longer periods,” said Sony Interactive Entertainments’ VP of brand, hardware and peripherals, Isabelle Tomatis, on the PlayStation Blog. “We truly believe gaming should be accessible to everyone, and the Access Controller is our latest step toward living up to that promise.”
Accessibility in gaming
Sony is not the first nor the only gaming device maker to take accessibility into account, and more and more devices are becoming available to allow players with disabilities to play the games they love. Xbox offers an official adaptive controller to be used in place of its traditional controller while a number of third-party companies such as Blue Tip Gaming and Hori Flex have come out with accessible devices.
While the Access Controller for PS5 will launch globally on December 6, pre-orders became available on July 21, allowing players in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Austria and Portugal to order their Access Controller ahead of launch directly from PlayStation as well as from select retailers.
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Top image photo credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment