Gaming is best whenever the most players possible get an opportunity to play. Microsoft has come out of the gate really strong to start of the holiday season with their Reindeer Games ad. In the ad, nine-year-old Owen draws a crowd, including his real-life best friend Gunnar, as he conquers a game with help from the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
Owen has Escobar Syndrome, a form of arthrogryposis multiplex congenita that affects mobility. With the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Owen's experience with friends watching along embodies Microsoft's mission to create accessible technology that "levels the playing field and creates opportunity for all of us."
The Xbox Adaptive Controller was originally revealed in May 2018 and is a result of collaborations with AbleGamers, Cerebral Palsy Foundation, SpecialEffect, Warfighter Engaged, and community members. It features a host of customization features that allow gamers to tune it and add various external switches, buttons, mounts, and joysticks to fit different needs. It's accessible right down to the packaging as well.
The device features nineteen 3.5mm ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and one 3.5mm stereo headset jack for audio. It includes an internal lithium-ion battery that can be recharged by USB-C and costs $99.99 at the Microsoft store. AbleGamers, one of the entities heavily involved in the creation of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, opened a new facility in West Virginia this year. It's called the AbleGamers Center for Inclusive Play and is granting the charity new resources and opportunities to reach out to the disabled. You can read up about it in our interview with AbleGamers CEO Mark Barlet.
Watch the full Reindeer Games ad, which features a unique rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". The original story, if you've forgotten, is about the mocking of the unique reindeer. Read up on Microsoft's accessibility initiatives and stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.