Just like in the mobile market, most of the developments and advancements in gaming cater to the large majority of able-bodied gamers. That unsurprisingly cuts off quite a sizable number of people that would buy games by the dozens if they were actually playable by people with physical handicaps. That’s why Microsoft was largely praised when it came out with its Xbox Adaptive Controller though, unfortunately, few followed its lead. Fortunately, all it took was a very dedicated gamer to find ways to make the XAC work with the Nintendo Switch.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller or XAC definitely looks odd, almost comical, if you didn’t know the amazing things it could do. It almost looks like an overgrown Xbox controller minus the joysticks. Indeed, it does have two huge buttons for A and B, the D-Pad, and little else. It’s real magic, however, is the row of 19 ports on its back that can be used with third-party devices, including those used by people with disabilities or limited capabilities.
When Microsoft announced the XAC, it invited anyone and everyone, including rival console makers, to take the controller and make it work with their own platforms. Sadly, neither Sony nor Nintendo have yet to take that offer. So YouTube user My Mate VINCE took it upon himself to find a way to make the Adaptive Controller work with Nintendo’s latest and greatest console.
It’s not a straightforward “plug an play” experience and requires purchasing the $20 Mayflash Magic-NS wireless controller adapter on Amazon, though the Switch and the XAC have to use a wired connection anyway. One also needs to use the Xbox Accessories app, either on an Xbox One or Windows 10 PC, to customize the buttons and controls. That might be necessary because the XAC uses an ABXY mapping while the Switch uses BAYX instead.
It requires a bit of setup but it works. At least for games that don’t require motion controls. If only Nintendo or Sony did the work of making their hardware compatible with XAC. It’s more likely they’ll come up with their own incompatible accessibility controller though. A redundant waste but might still be better nothing.