Oversized buttons, finger switches, blowing tubes, foot pedals, and other specialized inputs have long been built for gamers who can't hold onto or efficiently use average controllers (gamepads, keyboards, mice). Recent speeches from company heads like CEO Satya Nadella and Xbox chief Phil Spencer have paid lip service to "inclusivity" in computing and gaming, but this device, the XAC, aims to do the trick by connecting niche add-ons to standard Microsoft hardware.Way more at Ars Technica.
After exploring the ways hospitals, charity groups, and non-profit organizations already help limited-mobility gamers enjoy the hobby (and pay for unwieldy, specialized gear), in 2015 Microsoft's Xbox research group started an initiative to build an Xbox-branded hub that can bring down costs and frustration for users and caretakers alike. One year later, this skunkworks project received funding and a pathway to become an official Microsoft retail product...
Strange online hack attempts, like fans cutting Xbox One controllers in half just to spread buttons out to more easily reachable places, also suggested that more needed to be done for these players.
Hunter was also frank about the difficulty of getting members of Microsoft's business team to get on board. "We got the question: how many [units will sell]?" Hunter says. "We were like, we don’t know! And we won't know until we ship. The traditional business success metrics... this doesn’t fit into any of those normal metrics. We had to move the goalpost. The [return on investment] is different. This is about allowing more people to play."