Sony rolls out PlayStation controller for gamers with disabilities

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Sony rolls out PlayStation controller for gamers with disabilities. A PlayStation controller with a joystick on one side and big buttons in a circle was introduced by Sony on Thursday in December so that people with disabilities can enjoy gaming more easily.

Since rivals brought similar products to market in recent years, the gaming giant has been under pressure to address a long-neglected issue.

Gamer Jeremy Lecerf, aka Gyzmo, told me he would not be surprised if people with disabilities used it.

In a wheelchair, the Frenchman specializing in video games and disability was invited to London by Sony to try out a new controller that reverses the traditional design.

Sony rolls out PlayStation controller for gamers with disabilities. In addition to suffering from myopathy, he is an ambassador for the French organization HandiGamer, which helps disabled gamers.

According to Lecerf, the new controller has been carefully designed to be accessible to people of all abilities.

As he tested the “access controller” on “Stray”, a video game in which the player takes on the role of a cat, the 39-year-old said, “I am happy to see that the industry is taking the lead on accessibility.”

“More and more (video game) publishers are getting involved,” he said.

The UK disability equality charity Scope reports that two-thirds of disabled gamers face barriers to playing games, and 40% have bought video games that they could not use due to poor accessibility.

The issue now appears to be in the crosshairs of major studios, publishers, and manufacturers, driven by both ethical and financial concerns.

“Video games have enabled me to have a more normal life, to have a social life,” said Lecerf.

“They are an extremely inclusive tool that opens up the world to you,” he said.

Alvin Daniel, Senior Technical Program Manager at PlayStation, explained that taking accessibility into account is an industry-wide trend.

Our goal was not to have the player adapt to the controller, but for the controller to adapt to the player.

A disability affects people differently, he explained.


Any direction can be viewed from the new device, whether it is placed on a table or fixed to a stand.

With magnetic caps, each button can be shaped differently, making it easier to press or grab, and the user can assign any function to them.

The buttons are a bit stiff, but you can attach external buttons to it, which I like,” said Melanie Eilert, a German gamer. As well as being an accessibility consultant, she suffers from spinal muscular atrophy.

Eilert, who can only play with her right hand, came with her own coloured buttons. There are many accessories available on the market.

Players with disabilities can activate them, for example, by moving their mouths or breathing.

Eilert said it was too soon to compare PlayStation’s new controller with Microsoft’s Xbox controller, which also allows external devices to be connected.

However, she must develop these kinds of devices.

Her disability prevented her from playing for about 15 years after she played as a child. As a result, I waited a long time to be able to play again.”

The Sony controller project started in 2018 and took time “because we were given a blank sheet of paper”.

Before arriving at the final design, several different designs were tested across three continents with the help of associations and experts.

From December 6, the controller will sell for 89.99 euros in Europe and $89.99 in the US, around the cost of existing classic models.

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