Okay, maybe you will think now why such a site like PSX-Place.com takes care about such a topic, as described in the headline and why this topic will include only 10% of Information about the PS4 and 90% about the Xbox One - on a site like this all about hacking and exploiting PlayStation Consoles only. But I would like to introduce you three interesting ways from the three major companies (namely Sony, Nintendo & Microsoft) how they try to achieve "Making Video Games playable for everyone" - and with "everyone" I mean not only you as a reader, but also for people with disabilites - where those people have always to fight with several difficulties not only in their everyday life. but also when they like to play Video Games like you do. And maybe this topic won't have such an impact with your interest, but I think they deserve it to be mentioned, since those are the "True Heroes" - not those who have the best skills or who are the fastest in a Video Game.
Sony - or we should specify = Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) - has a huge interest that - as they call it with their marketing slogan - "The Best Place to Play" is available for "everyone". And to acknowledge this, they took care about the Accessibility right from the beginning of the Development from the PS4 itself. This is why several Options such as "Larger Text", "Enable Text to Speech", "Invert Colors" or by "Assigning a Custom Button Arrangement" on your Controller were already available very early in the Lifecycle of the PS4's System Software. And they take this "Accessibility" very serious, not only because those Settings are available from the PS4's "Quick Menu" - but also on the top from all "Settings" in general, by selecting them as a third option in the Settings Menu way long before you can set up your Internet Connection or your Screen Resolution. And the coolest thing is, a lot of people without any disability at all are already using them without knowing it - namely by "Assigning a Custom Button Arrangement" for your Controller to play your Video Games easier.
Sony's way to challenge the Accessibility of Video Games for their own PS4 System.
With speaking about the latest Console from Nintendo - namely the Nintendo Switch - we have "to assume an air of gravity", literally speaking. Those Options as mentioned above from the PS4's System Firmware aren't available on the Nintendo Switch at all, which is a bummer and a improvement is needed urgently. But maybe there is a way to play with the Nintendo Switch as well with your disabilities. This wasn't probably intended by the Developers from the Switch itself but take the Launch Title "1-2-Switch" for example - a "Party Game" as they describe it with several small "Mini-Games". With it's included sensors and gyroscopes, there are Games available, where you don't need to look to your TV or to the built-in Touchscreen at all. If you own this Game, take a "self-experiment" by playing some of those Games with your eyes closed for example. You will be suprised how easy it is. Now you probably can't even imagine how happy a blind person would be playing the same Game, especialy when there wasn't any easy solution like this one with other (handheld) consoles before.
Playing Video Games without seeing anything? Why not with the Nintendo Switch.
Now we are getting to the real deal. Microsoft is not only known for the Accessibility on their Windows Operating Systems. They have already a lot of experiences with their software solutions as well on Windows - maybe you are reading this thread with their included "Text-To-Speech" solution right now - Greetings Microsoft Sam . But Microsoft is also known that they just don't want a "simple" Software Solution and maybe they did a lot of mistakes in the past with promoting and marketing their "most powerful" console - namely the Xbox One - but this time they make it right by taking the "Accessibility of Video Games" into a next level. And this is even a Hardware-Based solution.
Microsoft does not create a controller only, they even create a new platform to make "thousands" of new Controllers and other special Hardware.
Recently Microsoft presented their newest "Xbox Adaptive Controller" - or "XAC" in short. What looks maybe like some simplified Drums from a Kids Toy is instead a genius idea to deliver not only a Controller, but also a "Adaptive Platform" where you can modify your settings needed for each different people with different disabilities. Maybe you have your own experiences with trying to play some Video Games with your different disabilities. Since we are all humans, someone needs a modified controller to play it with one hand only, for example. Such modifications aren't easily available (I personally don't know any Game Shop who offers such special Controllers) and most of them needs to be custom-built for each application. And the next Problem is, why I want to play my Video Games with one hand only, maybe you are forced to play it with your feets, which means that my custom-built controller works great for me - but only for me and not for you.
So you understand that giving "The Disabled" the right Hardware is not a easy task since everyone differs with their needs. But instead of bringing 50 different and very expensive custom-built Hardware solutions, Microsoft releases this one platform, where other third parties can develop their own solution and by making them compatible with the XAC. And there is already one, even from known companies like Logitech but also from other third parties like QuadStick, ablenet or RAM Mounts to name a few, who are specified for making such custom-built Hardware for disabled people.
And with such an good idea, Microsoft deserves your "salut" especially because they already know they won't earn such a lot of money with this platform, since this area of "Video Gamers" is a small and difficult one. But this is a step into the right direction and they didin't developed it because of the money. They did it because "everyone" has their rights to play Video Games, no matter what types of disabilities they have. Such good things can connect people by making them into new friends.
What do you think about those three solutions? I would like to discuss it with you in the comments. Also I would like to thank you for your reading because I personally have a small disability as well and seeing such a development in the Video Game Industry makes me very happy because while other Hardware Developers already had good solutiuons like for a Computer or for a Smartphone, Game Consoles however always lacked a little bit in my opinion, but this could change now. So Thank You.
More about the XAC --> Click here
PS News Making Video Games more accessible for "The Disabled"
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