Xbox Adaptive Controller mod for Nintendo Switch brings joy to disabled kids

JC Torres - Jan 20, 2020, 9:19 pm CST
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Xbox Adaptive Controller mod for Nintendo Switch brings joy to disabled kids

The Nintendo Switch may have become the darling of the console gaming market but, more than a year ago, Microsoft did something that ranked it higher in the eyes of many gamers. Its Xbox Adaptive Controller or XAC practically opened the opening floodgates for people with disabilities by making it possible to create controller mods that catered to that underserved market. Now a dad has hastily put the two together to create an arcade-like controller that empowered his kids to play Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch.

This isn’t the first time the Nintendo Switch and the XAC have been brought together, of course. Near the end of 2018, YouTuber My Mate VINCE took Microsoft up on its invitation to make the accessibility controller work with consoles other than the Xbox. It was hard work but it mostly retained the original form of the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

Digital Jersey Academy head Rory Steel, however, wanted to create a controller that his nine-year-old daughter Ava and five-year-old son Corben would be able to use easily. Both children are afflicted with hereditary spastic paraplegia which made conventional controllers nearly impossible to use. Fortunately, the XAC was designed in such a way that you could make almost any controller format or design that you need, especially with tools like Logitech’s G Adaptive Gaming Kit for the XAC.

Steel’s homemade controller only took a weekend of “serious soldering and wire management”, among other things, so it may not look like a work of art inside the box. That, of course, is pretty insignificant compared to the smiles it brought to Ava’s face which, of course, quickly went viral.

And that’s not the end of the story just yet. Naturally, Microsoft and Logitech got in touch with Steel to help in making version 2.0. The self-professed tinkerer also plans on making a guide for those who want to recreate the setup as well as the experience for others.


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