A lot of products, services, and content are claimed to be designed for all but, most of the time, that “all” refers to physically-abled people. From time to time, we get reminders that even those with disabilities want and deserve to get the same experiences and that manufacturers and creators have to make the effort to be inclusive. With the PlayStation 5’s launch just around the corner, Sony is sending out a message that the next-gen console is truly designed for all thanks to some accessibility features.
SIE boasts that the PS4 already had a handful of accessibility settings designed to cater to one kind of physical handicap or another. Text to speech for those with hearing impairments, inverting colors for those with vision problems, and creating custom button mapping are just some of the ways it has made the console inclusive.
The PlayStation 5 launching in two weeks takes that a few steps further with voice dictation, allowing text input for those unable to type with a keyboard. Those who can type but have trouble hearing, on the other hand, can type out their message to be read out loud for party members. Along with Screen Reader for low vision and blind users, the PS5 ensures that textual content doesn’t become a barrier to enjoying a game, alone or with others.
The PS5 will have the same accessibility features as the PS4, just taken up a notch. Color correction, for example, isn’t just about making things look nice but also to make graphics actually viewable for some gamers. The DualSense wireless controller will have configurable haptic feedback and adaptive trigger force levels that can be reduced or completely disabled as needed.
While the console itself will have these accessibility features, it still requires the games themselves to take advantage of those and build on top of them. Sony presents Naughty Dog as one example of such a game developer whose 2016 Uncharted 4 and 2020 The Last of Us Part 2 went above and beyond accessibility settings with game mechanics designed to make playing easier for those with physical disabilities.