Odd modular game controller gives Xbox players with disabilities a helping hand

It’s about time that gaming companies and studios realize that there are people who would love to play their games and use their consoles but are hindered because of one physical disability or another. Accessibility has only recently been an advertised feature of games and gaming hardware, and it might take a while before it actually becomes a standard in the industry. Thankfully, major companies are leading the accessibility charge, giving birth to accessibility devices that may look weird but give all gamers, even those perfectly capable ones, incredible powers to enjoy games the way they want them. Take for example this newly announced Xbox-certified accessibility controller that almost looks like a small alien swarm thanks to its modular design.

Designer: ByoWave

For gamers with physical disabilities that relate to their hands or fine motor control, the typical game controller or keyboard, despite their ergonomic designs, is sometimes impossible to use. Thankfully, there has been an increased interest in developing more accessible control devices, spearheaded by the Xbox Adaptive Controller in 2018 and followed by the Sony Access Controller, previously dubbed “Project Leonardo,” last year. Of course, there are more than just two ways to design for accessibility, and ByoWave’s Proteus Controller is just the latest to turn heads with its unconventional mechanism and innovative idea.

In a nutshell, the Proteus Controller is made up of small, rounded cubes with some faces that can be changed to be a button, a D-Pad, a joystick, and more. These cubes can then connect to each other to form different shapes that cater to the needs of the gamer. It can, for example, be a single, curving stack that you can hold like a joystick, a 2×2 grid that you can mash like arcade buttons on a table, or even a conventional gamepad layout with the right accessories and connectors. It can support over a hundred such configurations and LED lighting combinations, letting the user decide how they want to play depending on their circumstances.

Of course, the controller is primarily designed to address the needs of gamers with disabilities, but it’s not hard to see how this will be popular with almost any gamer, especially those on the Xbox platform. The sheer number of options and combinations is mind-blowing, and some might even just make new controller designs just for the fun of it. It’s a clear example of how accessible design actually benefits everyone, and gamers will probably be excited for the arrival of the Proteus accessibility controller in the fall, especially given its starting price of $299.