The Microsoft Adaptive Controller might look like a drum machine, but it’s intended to be used by people with disabilities who cannot comfortably use the Xbox controllers currently available. However, the new controller could be a boon for cheaters, too.
That’s because the enormous controller has 19 different 3.5mm ports on the back, each of which corresponds to a specific input on a standard controller. The ports enable third-party accessory makers to produce everything from pedals, to proximity sensors, to bean bags with a button inside. The idea is that a person with a disability could use the wide variety of input options to create a way to play that’s comfortable for them.
This is, without a doubt, a great use for the controller—even if people with disabilities will find, as per usual, that they have to pay more. The controller itself is $100, and we’ve heard quoted prices as high as $200 for some of the accessories. A controller could easily end up costing the same as a cheap gaming PC—which is a little frustrating when you consider that a standard Xbox One controller starts at just $45. The tax for people with disabilities, while all too common, is still irritating.
But as we noted at Xbox’s booth in the video above, the appeal of the Microsoft Adaptive Controller isn’t just for people with disabilities. The controller can, essentially, double up with a standard controller. This means you could play games with the traditional controller, but then program the Adaptive controller with a foot petal that, when tapped, initiates melee in Halo. The opportunities for cheaters are pretty expansive, so the Adaptive Controller may not find itself allowed in tournaments anytime soon—and it may make bouts of Overwatch or Fortnight more annoying than usual.
At least the cheaters will have to pay out the nose to cheat. It’s a bummer that those with a more legitimate reason to use it will have to pay out the nose, too.
Additional reporting and video by Tom Caswell