Sony already announced in January this year that it is working on a special controller to make gaming easier for people with various mobility limitations. It was called the working name of Project Leonardo, and we knew that it would be a joystick with a circular gamepad, during the creation of which the designers collaborated with organizations such as AbleGamers and SpecialEffect. The goal was to build a highly customizable peripheral that would work with other aids that players with disabilities commonly use.
The VP of Platforms at Sony Interactive Entertainment, Hideaki Nishino, shared another bit of information on the PlayStation Blog today. The PlayStation 5 controller is officially called Access, and the company developed it in collaboration with accessibility experts. Thanks to a set of replaceable components, players will be able to arrange the buttons as they wish, while there will be a choice of several types of surfaces, shapes and pressing methods. The distance and size of the joystick will also be adjustable, at the same time you will be able to freely map any input to any button.
A total of four 3.5mm AUX inputs will be available, to which additional switches or aids can be connected according to the specific needs of the user. Hardware openness will be complemented by software equipment: The controller will have its own clear interface, which will allow both free mapping of keys (including, for example, two keys on one input) and pairing of up to two Accesses with one ordinary DualSense.
The result will then function as a single virtual controller and the player will be able to use all peripherals at once as it suits him. Or someone else can help him while playing on the paired DualSens.
The software also prevents the activation of “toggle mode”, a function that allows you to simulate a longer button hold by simply pressing it. A number of games today let you choose, but this is not the case for all of them and, for example, in racing games it is simply customary that the “pedal” must be held down. Access will allow players for whom a longer button press is difficult due to physical indisposition to bypass a similar obstacle.
However, we still don’t know when the controller will hit the market and how much it will cost. Nishino only promises that we’ll learn more in the “coming months.”