Microsoft introduces new Proteus Xbox accessibility controller — disabled gamers gain great options for gaming as they need it

Proteus Accessibility Controller for Xbox
(Image credit: ByoWave)

Microsoft announced the new Proteus Controller for Xbox and PC on Wednesday, an alternative accessibility solution to Microsoft's own Accessibility Controller. The announcement was made on Wednesday to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

Per Xbox's official post on Xbox Wire, the Proteus Controller by Byowave is a new controller designed in close partnership with the "Designed for Xbox" team. The "snap and play" system used by the Proteus is a striking stand-out innovation in a controller space that has remained largely stagnant for years. Users are enabled to create a fully custom modular controller solution, with press photos including a brick that manipulates joysticks on its underside, or perhaps a one-handed approach to the controller. 

The controller is currently available for pre-order at $255 on Byowave's website, though the price will increase to $300 over time. The simple fact that everything necessary to game with the controller is included in the box is a novel innovation compared to the controller's ancestor. The original Accessibility Controller's control scheme offers a very customizable experience with 19 3.5 mm jacks and some USB ports and buttons to set up a flight simulator's worth of peripherals, but this approach is costly; $100 for the initial box controller and more for every additional button or switch added is not exactly a bargain for anyone but the simplest possible gamer. 

Microsoft is excited about the future of accessibility in its product releases, which is perhaps why Xbox is also releasing a major firmware update for its original Accessibility Controller (now six years old) allowing the twin USB ports on either side of the controller to have additional functions — 12 buttons, a second stick, and a hat switch each, specifically. Microsoft is also set to improve the accessibility of many games across its Xbox Games Studios stable by adding better accessibility menus to Diablo IV and Candy Crush Saga. 

Unfortunately for non-Xbox and non-PC gamers, the access stops there; Byowave has stated that the Proteus Controller will not be compatible with the Nintendo Switch or PS5, but this is a problem that will likely soon be remedied as Byowave announces their open stance to collaborating with the companies rather than competing with them at least. Steam just expanded its full support for the Accessibility Controller to include compatibility with the maximum amount of connected input devices.

Freelance News Writer
  • Ebert0
    Yeah because handicapped people can afford this controller on their limited fixed income. Thank you Microsoft for making something great that is unobtainable for months for people who are disabled. So having a disability means you have to pay a mark-up. Great way to be inclusive it comes with a very inclusive price tag!
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