Dad Builds Custom Adaptive Controller To Help Daughter Play 'Breath Of The Wild'
Microsoft and Xbox have been talking an awful lot about making its games as accessible as possible to as many people as possible of late. Nowhere is this new approach more evident than in the company's development of the incredible Xbox Adaptive Controller. The special controller is specifically designed to accommodate all manner of setups, allowing disabled players the chance to play games they might otherwise have been completely unable to enjoy.
It's a truly wonderful little piece of kit for so many reasons, but I'm especially fond of the fact that the Adaptive Controller isn't limited to only work on Microsoft-exclusive machines. It takes a little more work, but the controller can even function with the Nintendo Switch, opening up the potential for even more games - and plenty more fun.
Rory Steel, head of Digital Jersey Academy, recently did a bit of tinkering with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, coming up with an amazing custom setup that allowed his young daughter, Ava, to finally play through the excellent The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild for herself. As you can see below, she was absolutely thrilled to be able to run around and play in Hyrule with her dad.
Finished! Ava gives my homemade #accessibility controller V1.0 the thumbs up. She can play @Nintendo #BreathoftheWild on her #switch like her friends now. All thanks to @Microsoft :raised_hands: #adaptiveController #XAC @brycej @ArranDyslexia @shanselman pic.twitter.com/dOhGnUFZa0
- Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 19, 2020
"We bought a Nintendo Switch for my daughter for Christmas," Rory explained to Channel 103. "She's got fine motor neurone issues - so it's great because she only needs to move the controller up and down. But when she started watching me play Breath of the Wild, which is quite a complex game... she wanted to have a go but the controls were too complicated."
Using the Xbox Adaptive Controller as a base, Rory put together a setup that would work for Ava using bits and pieces from eBay and B&Q. The setup consists of two large arcade-style sticks for Ada to move and look around, surrounded by buttons that can be re-mapped according to what Ava needs.
Rory's amazing DIY project quickly blew up on Twitter, and even attracted the attention - and praise - of Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who called it "incredible". Rory even says he's been approached by Logitech and Microsoft to help work on an official, improved version of his design.
While he said that he'll certainly be taking the companies up on their offers, the ultimate goal of his initial design was to create something "low-tech" and accessible that anyone could put together. Wherever this project takes Rory, I'm just genuinely pleased his daughter is able to explore the mountains, forests, and fields of Hyrule whenever she wants.
Featured Image Credit: Nintendo/Rory Steel/Twitter