The Nintendo Switch jumped up many notches in gamers' ranks in 2018 when Microsoft built something that enhanced it. They created the Xbox Adaptive Controller, or XAC, which opened up the world of gaming to an under-represented group: people with disabilities.
Now, a father of two has used his technological knowledge and his love for his kids to create an arcade-like controller, combining the XAC and the Nintendo Switch.
Gaming for people with disabilities
Gaming shouldn't only be available for people with two fully-functioning hands to play. There is a huge number of people with varying degrees of disabilities on this planet who also love gaming, but have had to struggle to be able to join in on the fun.
Thanks to Microsoft's XAC, the tables have been turning.
One such instance is the story of Rory Steel, the Head of Digital Jersey Academy and father of two young kids with hereditary spastic paraplegia, a disability that leaves them with less mobility, who decided to create his own controller.
As Steel's kids could not use regular controllers, similar to many people with disabilities, he used the XAC to create a homemade controller. Luckily, the XAC is designed to make almost any controller format or design needed.
It only took Steel one weekend to put the controller together, and he described it as "serious soldering and wire management." It may not look perfect, but as Steel pointed out, this is version 1.0, and you hear him already talking about the second version he's looking to create in his Twitter video.
Finished! Ava gives my homemade #accessibility controller V1.0 the thumbs up. She can play @Nintendo #BreathoftheWild on her #switch like her friends now. All thanks to @Microsoft 🙌 #adaptiveController #XAC @brycej @ArranDyslexia @shanselman pic.twitter.com/dOhGnUFZa0— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 19, 2020
Steel shared his daughter, Ava's joy on his Twitter account, as well as explaining how the controller functions. You can't help but smile upon seeing Ava's excitement.
Microsoft and Logitech have reached out to Steel as they want to work together with him to create the version 2.0. In the meantime, Steel has promised to create a manual for anyone else wishing to re-create his version 1.0.