Sony is coming out with the Access controller for PlayStation on December 6, and it’s meant to let people with a variety of disabilities be able to play video games. It’s able to do this because it comes in a kit where people can configure the controller into what’s necessary for them. For example, the buttons are available in different sizes, and it has thumbsticks you can change around. It can fit in a wheelchair tray or be lain down or mounted on a tripod, depending on the gamer’s needs.
Sony began its work on this Access controller in 2018 and has been aided by gamers with disabilities and organizations like AbleGamers. 2018 was the same year that Microsoft came out with an Xbox Adaptive controller.
“I was big into sports before my injury,” remarked Cesar Flores, one of the consultants for Sony’s Access controller. He now needs to get around with a wheelchair. “I wrestled in high school, played football. I lifted a lot of weights, all these little things. And even though I can still train in certain ways, there are physical things that I can’t do anymore. And when I play video games, it reminds me that I’m still human. It reminds me that I’m still one of the guys.”
“The last five years I have seen the game accessibility movement go from indie studios working on some features to triple-A games being able to be played by people who identify as blind,” commented founder and executive director of the nonprofit AbleGamers Mark Barlet. “In five years, it’s been breathtaking.”
“Having gaming and having an opportunity to game at a very high level, to be able to do it again, it is like a reunion, (like losing) a close companion and being able to reunite with that person again,” said Paul Lane, another gamer with disabilities who consulted for Sony.
Source: The Mainichi Shimbun
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vasquez
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.