Xbox Update Preview Alpha users can expect a few accessibility additions in the next update. For physically disabled players that need different control input methods, the latest update enables keyboard remapping to a controller.
According to an Xbox Wire post, players who opt into the Update Preview program can try mapping keyboard keys to either the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 or the Xbox Adaptive Controller. This should be a boon for disabled players who struggle with traditional keyboards.
That said, there are some limitations. Right now, only single keys or functions like “Ctrl+Alt+W” can be set to a controller button. The post also indicates that this feature is only usable if a title supports keyboard functionality. Results may vary depending on each game.
Still, for physically disabled players unable to use keyboards, this update further increases the selection of accessible hardware. Especially for those with extensive Xbox Adaptive Controller setups, this ultimately lets individuals use devices that are best for their needs across an array of PC and Xbox games.
Accessibility is more than options within menus or designs in games. Hardware is equally important to the needs of disabled players.
For more information regarding Xbox’s plans for accessibility, we have a feature with the Director of Accessibility at Xbox, as well as an interview with Turn 10 Studios developers and consultants. You can also read an extensive breakdown of the FTC v. Microsoft trial here.
Grant Stoner is a disabled journalist covering accessibility and the disabled perspective in video games. When not writing, he is usually screaming about Pokémon or his cat, Goomba on Twitter.