On May 5 and 6, the 12th Microsoft Talent Summit was held online and was a new opportunity for Microsoft to present its innovations in video games in terms of accessibility and inclusivity. As you know, this theme is one of the hardest working for Microsoft, and especially for Xbox, which wants to democratize video games to as many people as possible. This is exactly what their latest major innovations will allow.
Also read: A new Xbox controller is invented for one-handed play
Microsoft Adaptive Ecosystem: a revolution for people with disabilities
In recent years, Microsoft has demonstrated its desire to offer new possibilities to people with disabilities through work, entertainment or video games. 400 million of the 3 billion people playing games in the world are disabled and cannot always fully enjoy this hobby.
That’s why Xbox has brought new possibilities to developers, manufacturers, and all players on the field, ensuring that the needs of people with disabilities are better taken into account. Redmond company is undoubtedly one of the giants of the industry that pays the most attention to these issues, and Microsoft once again shows this to us with the Microsoft Adaptive Ecosystem.
During the last Microsoft Talent Summit, many issues revolving around accessibility were discussed, and Sarah Bond specifically wrote a long article on the Microsoft Game Development Blog called “How to make games more accessible”. Among the many advances presented, one of the most tangible is therefore the release of the Microsoft Adaptive Ecosystem.
This ecosystem presented in the video brings together three pillars: Microsoft Adaptive Mouse, Microsoft Adaptive Hub, and Microsoft Adaptive Buttons. This system is fully customizable and can be configured according to the user’s needs. It’s even possible to 3D print unique parts if needed.
This ecosystem will enable a graphic designer to be more efficient by using shortcuts that are inaccessible to him and even for a gamer to use all the necessary keys to enjoy his favorite game. Each configuration is unique and easily adapted to individual needs.
Accessibility Feature Stickers are coming to Xbox
Beyond the Microsoft Adaptive Ecosystem, the Redmond company has added a new system to the Xbox: accessibility feature tags. The goal is to make it easier for players with disabilities to find games that offer one or more of 20 accessibility features, such as dedicated volume controls, Quick Time activity, or subtitle options.
These criteria and other attributes are set by gamers, developers, and disabled player associations, such as the 158,000-member Xbox Accessibility Insider League. Players will be able to search for specific games based on specific tags to find the title that fits their needs exactly. This will force development studios to consider the public, who will provide feedback and suggest improvements to ensure developers understand the requirements in question.
Once again, Microsoft has the right to impress us by delivering more useful and smart innovations than ever before in terms of accessibility and openness to gamers and users with disabilities. Beyond the field of video games, the Microsoft Adaptive Ecosystem is aimed at a much broader audience, and it is hoped that the formula will democratize in many industries.