In a significant stride towards inclusivity, Sony has unveiled its groundbreaking Access controller for PlayStation. Collaborating closely with accessibility experts, Sony aims to revolutionize gaming accessibility for people with disabilities, contributing to the ongoing industry-wide effort to make gaming more accessible. Notably, Microsoft, startups, and hobbyists armed with 3D printers have also been tirelessly innovating to empower disabled gamers since 2018.

The Access Controller is a novel and highly customizable solution. Designed to be placed on a table or a wheelchair tray, it offers countless configuration options to meet the unique needs of users. These configurations include the ability to switch buttons and thumbsticks, program special controls, and even pair two controllers to function as one.

PlayStation's official announcement states, "Introducing the Access controller, a versatile controller kit that can be customized to meet players' diverse needs, designed in close collaboration with the accessibility community to help players with disabilities play more comfortably for longer."

Starting December 6th, the Access Controller will be available worldwide, retailing at $90 in the United States. Gamers can also pre-order this game-changing controller online.

Martin Shane, on Thursday, September 28, 2023, in San Mateo, California, utilizes a Sony Access controller to engage in a video game at the Sony Interactive Entertainment headquarters.

One remarkable aspect of the Access Controller's development is its user involvement. Paul Lane, a disabled gamer, played a pivotal role in the design process. Using the controller, he can navigate his "Gran Turismo" car around digital tracks using the back of his hand, a testament to the controller's adaptability.

Paul Lane's gaming journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. Previously, he played video games by controlling the original PlayStation controller with his mouth, cheek, and chin. Sony's five-year collaboration with Lane was dedicated to creating a controller that caters to a broad spectrum of needs and disabilities, prioritizing versatility over specificity.

Lane expresses his gratitude, saying, "I game kind of weird, so it's comfortable for me to be able to use both of my hands when I game. So, I need to position the controllers away enough so that I can be able to use them without clunking into each other. Being able to maneuver the controllers has been awesome, but also the fact that this controller can come out of the box and ready to work."

Mark Barlet, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit AbleGamers, has been a longstanding advocate for gamers with disabilities. His invaluable contributions have influenced both Sony and Microsoft in designing accessible controllers, further underlining the industry's commitment to inclusivity.

On Thursday, September 28, 2023, at the Sony Interactive Entertainment headquarters in San Mateo, California, Paul Amadeus Lane operates a PlayStation 5 video game with the assistance of a Sony Access controller.

One key point to note is that the Access controller while catering to various disabilities, may not fully meet the unique needs of every individual in the accessibility community. In recognition of this, Sony has partnered with Logitech and the accessibility community to create the Logitech G Adaptive Gaming Kit, an official accessory kit for the Access controller. LogitechG.com will soon offer supplementary controls for the Access controller, including high-performance, durable buttons and triggers that can be swapped, assigned, and labeled based on individual preferences. These accessories will be available globally at select retail stores starting January 2024, priced at $79.99 USD.

The Access Controller's design is also user-friendly, with packaging that can be easily opened with one hand. It features loops on both sides for easy access and interior slots to organize the kit components, including 19 interchangeable button caps and 3 stick caps, making them easy to identify.

Moreover, users have the flexibility to combine up to two Access controllers as a single virtual controller. Alternatively, they can pair one or two Access controllers with a DualSense™ or DualSense Edge™ wireless controller to unlock features such as haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, motion sensors, and touchpad swipes, enhancing the gaming experience for all.

Sony's Access Controller is a remarkable step forward, making gaming more inclusive for individuals with disabilities. As the industry continues its journey towards greater accessibility, innovations like this demonstrate the profound impact of collaboration between technology companies and the accessibility community.

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