Gaming is and should be for everyone, but games and gaming platforms weren’t always designed with everyone, and we mean everyone, in mind. Developers and console makers have fortunately been making strides in the accessibility department, and some have hailed Microsoft’s Xbox as leading the pack, especially with its unique Xbox Adaptive Controller. For June, Xbox is once again diving into opening the platform to all types of gamers, allowing them to chat the way they can or even want to.
It may seem like a minor update for some but it means the world to gamers that can’t hear or speak well. Even those who can speak might not always want their actual voice to be heard out of fear or embarrassment. The great thing with accessibility features is that they empower everyone, both those with physical disabilities and everyone else.
For June, Xbox gains Party Chat Accessibility features in speech-to-text and its sibling, text-to-speech. The former allows those with hearing handicaps to see the party’s spoken conversation in text form in an adjustable overlay. On the other hand, the latter converts typed text into synthesized words, both for those who can’t speak and those who don’t want to, at least not audibly.
The June Xbox update also brings other features, like the ability to reorder groups in the quick access Guide. Parents might be delighted to know that they can now review their kids’ game requests on Android, iOS, or the Xbox, regardless of what platform the requested game is on.
Regarding that mobile app, the Xbox app for Android and iOS will start showing official posts from games on the app’s homepage. From there, you can like, share, or even comment on those posts to your heart’s content without having to move away from your smartphone. This feature will be slowly rolling out this month on their respective mobile platforms, which will determine how soon you’ll see them in action.