The standard injection molded video game controller is getting upgrades from some key companies to make it easier for everyone to play.
At CES in Las Vegas, Sony became the second big name in consumer electronics to offer a take on an adaptive video game controller. Project Leonardo will allow gamers using PS5 consoles to move buttons and pads as close together or far apart as comfortable. Individual pads can be programmed to best meet users' needs, with the settings saved so they can quickly pick it up and begin playing. The controller can be hand-held or placed on a flat surface such as a table or wheelchair tray.
The Sony project, which is officially still in development, follows Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller. There also have been independent video hardware makers who sell adaptive controllers.
Both Sony and Microsoft worked with advocacy groups such as AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stackup in developing the controllers.
Beyond the potential for more sales for Xbox and PS, AbleGamers says video games offer needed connections. People with disabilities are 51 percent more likely to be socially isolated, it says.