Sony's 'Project Leonardo' Is An Accessible Controller for the PS5

The tech giant used its CES keynote to drop some PlayStation news, including Beat Saber and Gran Turismo for the PSVR2

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Sony project Leonardo
Sony’s Project Leonardo accessible controller
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony’s CES keynote isn’t really a PlayStation event, but that doesn’t mean we don’t occasionally see gaming announcements slipped into it. We were expecting some PSVR 2 announcements tonight, but the company also surprised us with a new controller focused on accessibility.

“Project Leonardo,” as Sony calls it, is still in its early stages. But it appears to be (as depicted above) a modular, entirely remappable controller in the vein of Xbox’s Adaptive Controller.

According to a PlayStation blog post, the device was designed with input from organizations like AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stack Up. It will “work in tandem with many third-party accessibility accessories and integrates with the PS5 console to open up new ways of gaming. It is built to address common challenges faced by many players with limited motor control, “including difficulty holding a controller for long periods, accurately pressing small clusters of buttons or triggers, or positioning thumbs and fingers optimally on a standard controller.”

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Sony's Project Leonardo accessible controller
Sony’s Project Leonardo accessible controller
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The Project Leonardo controller features a split, symmetric design that allows users “to reposition the analog sticks as close together or as far apart as they like. The controller lies flat and does not need to be held, so players can lay it on a tabletop or a wheelchair tray,” according to the company.

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Sony also says that, on the PS5, console players will be able to tailor their experience using button mapping and up to three control profiles. Up to two Project Leonardo controllers and one DualSense wireless controller can be used together as a single virtual controller, allowing players to mix and match devices to fit their particular gameplay needs.

Introducing Project Leonardo for PlayStation 5: Perspectives from Accessibility Experts | PS5

Despite being in the key art for today’s stream, there wasn’t much PlayStation VR news at Sony’s CES event. We simply got confirmation that, yes, it can play Beat Saber, as well as a VR version of Gran Turismo.

It’s not too surprising that we didn’t hear much, since the headset launch is so close. We’re still curious to see how the headset sets itself apart, since it can’t play PSVR1 games.

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Image for article titled Sony's 'Project Leonardo' Is An Accessible Controller for the PS5

Our team is on the ground in Las Vegas working around the clock to share all the biggest news and announcements from CES 2023. Here are some of the best reveals made at the show so far, and make sure to check back often for the latest and greatest.

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  • Acer eKinekt BD 3: Working out while working from home is all the rage, but this bike desk from Acer does more than burn calories. It harnesses all that physical activity to power a generator that can charge laptops and smartphones.
  • Withings U-Scan: The first gadget you’re actually supposed to drop in the toilet, the U-Scan is a fitness, health, and cycle tracker that analyzes users’ urine, and thankfully only needs to be charged every three months.
  • Garmin Dash Cam Live: Worried about your car you had to leave parked in a sketchy lot? The Dash Cam Live is Garmin’s first LTE-connected dash cam, providing a live look at your car with video streamed to a smartphone app, and automatic incident detection.
  • AWOL’s Vision Vanish Projector: Want the big screen movie theater experience at home but don’t want to lose an entire wall to a screen? This short-throw projector has its own built right in that extends and retracts at the push of a button.
  • JLab JBuds Mini: Do you lose your wireless earbuds’ charging case more often than you’d like to admit? The JLabs JBuds Mini feature a case that’s small enough to keep on your keychain, without sacrificing battery life.