Earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the gaming community got their first look at “Project Leonardo”, a new addition to the PlayStation 5 controller line-up designed with accessibility first and foremost. The concept has now been formally introduced as the Access Controller, a a highly-customisable kit designed to elevate the gaming experience for many players with disabilities.
Developed in collaboration with accessibility experts, it is set to include a wide array of swappable button and stick caps, empowering players to design unique layouts that cater to their physical needs. Ranging from standard to dome and ball stick caps, and a variety of button shapes including pillow, flat, wide flat, overhang, and curve button caps, this customisable kit can adapt to varying strengths, ranges of motion, and hand sizes.
Beyond hardware flexibility, the controller allows players to secure it on flat surfaces, rotate it 360 degrees, or attach it to an AMPS mount or tripod. The distance of the analogue stick from the controller can also be adjusted for ultimate player comfort.
The Access controller also brings to the table a highly personalised user interface, offering various settings and configurations. Players can now select their preferred controller orientation, map different inputs to various buttons, toggle buttons on or off, or map two distinct inputs onto the same button on their PS5 console. Once customised, they can be stored as part of different control profiles for different genres or even specific games – such as alternate control schemes for “combat” or “driving”.
Up to two Access Controllers and one DualSense / DualSense Edge wireless controller can be paired together as part of a single virtual controller, setting out to allow a mix-and-match gaming style or collaborative play with others. Furthermore, Toggle mode allows players to adjust any button’s behaviour similar to a caps lock key on a keyboard. This means that challenging continuous inputs like sprinting in games, typically requiring the player to hold down “L3”, can be toggled on or off with a single click.
In many ways, gaming has been an inclusive industry which has embraced gamers from all walks of life – and this goes to show that the PlayStation 5 is set to hopefully become much more accessible to gamers in the coming months and years. While you cannot pre-order the Access controller just yet, keep an eye out HERE for updates on pricing and when you can order it.