Microsoft’s Adaptive Controller is a rather fascinating device on its own. The intention is to make it easier to play games for people who struggle with using a traditional gamepad. We’re learning today that Microsoft’s focus on accessibility doesn’t end at the controller, as even its packaging is designed to be accessible.
In many cases, packaging is an awful thing to deal with, but it can become even more frustrating for people with disabilities. Recognizing this, Microsoft set out to make the packaging for the Adaptive Controller just as accessible as the device it holds. “It had to enable gamers with limited dexterity, who might be using just one hand or arm, to easily open the box and remove the controller,” Microsoft said of the its packaging in a write-up today. “And it had to be as high-quality and aesthetically appealing as any other Xbox packaging.”
The retail packaging, which you can see in the video below, is the result of Microsoft’s Mark Weiser and Scott Wang working with gamers with disabilities to determine what makes packaging a headache for them. Twist ties are obviously out, but Weiser and Wang also discovered that many of these gamers often have to resort to opening boxes and packages with their teeth. To avoid that in the box for the Adaptive Controller, Weiser employed large loops, which can be used to easily unpack the controller.
Those loops, as the video shows us, are a common sight throughout the Adaptive Controller’s packaging. Even the tape that seals the shipping box has a loop on the end to allow for one-handed, easy opening. That box itself is similarly designed to be open with one hand, so for once, unpacking your shiny new device might not be the exercise in frustration we’re all used to.
Microsoft’s attention to detail with the Adaptive Controller’s box is particularly impressive, especially when you learn that the packaging went through more than 100 iterations before the final design was settled on. Hopefully this sends a message to other companies that make accessibility products but don’t always consider the frustrations of packaging. Beyond that, all companies could learn a thing or two from what Microsoft is doing here, even if they don’t make products that are explicitly targeted at consumers with disabilities.
Microsoft’s Xbox One Adaptive Controller will be available at some point in September. You can pre-order it today from the Microsoft Store for $99.99. You can also read more about the controller itself here on SlashGear to find out what makes it so special.