Consoles have in many ways been the least accessible of all the ways to play games. They are designed to be be simple and easy to use and this usually means a single controller type only. In the last few years this has changed somewhat with the Wii and Wii U going their own way and Sony allowing plugged in keyboards and mice. Microsoft yesterday announced a new controller for their Xbox One called the Elite Wireless controller.
The Elite is designed to be modifiable and changeable for extreme gamers but this has positive implications for accessibility. The new features include four interchangeable paddles on the front, trigger locks to hold down buttons, remappable buttons and swappable and removable components. Thumbstick sensitivity can be set individually and minimum and maximum levels can be set for the top triggers.It will also have a 3.5mm headset jack built into it.
The software changes are handled with an app for the Xbox One and Windows 10 with the preferences usually being stored in the cloud and two profiles storable on the Elite itself. As of yet its not clear if the controller is Xbox One only or like the normal Xbox One controller will be Windows compatible.
Finally the price – it will be released at $150 or around £96 in October in the US. Specific UK release times or pricing have not yet been announced. In comparison the standard Xbox One Controller is available on Amazon for around £35. In summary – very nice looking but very expensive.