Back at the start of 2023, PlayStation and Sony showed off their upcoming solution for players with disabilities with Project Leonardo, a PS5 controller kit that will address common challenges faced by many players with limited motor control. Now, the kit has an official name, as the team shared more details about the Access controller.
Developed with the help of accessibility experts, the Access controller will include a wide array of swappable buttons and stick caps to allow players to freely create different layouts that play to their unique strength, range of motion, and physical needs.
Each Access controller will include:
- Analog stick caps (standard, dome and ball stick cap)
- Button caps in different shapes and sizes, including:
- Pillow button caps
- Flat button caps
- Wide flat button cap (which covers two button sockets)
- Overhang button caps (which benefit players with smaller hands as they are positioned closer to the centre)
- Curve button caps (which can be pushed if placed along the top or pulled if placed along the bottom of the controller)
- Swappable button cap tags for players to easily mark which inputs they map to each button on the Access controller.
The way the Access controller can be used is also varied. Flat surfaces work, so does having it orient 360 degrees, and it can be easily secured to an AMPS mount or tripod. The distance of the analogue stick from the controller can also be adjusted, while other speciality switches, buttons and more can be integrated thanks to the controller’s four 3.5mm AUX ports.
Access Controller UI
Beyond the hardware, the Access controller also brings software customisation to further help players to enjoy their gaming.
Button mapping and control profiles make it easy to switch between control schemes for different games, and it is also possible to mix and match two Access controllers and one DualSense/DualSense Edge controller as a single virtual controller. All of the input sensitivity, starting positions, and dead zones can all be adjusted.
There is also a toggle mode, which allows players to adjust the behaviour of any button to work without pressing it. The example given was to enable toggle mode for the acceleration input in a racing game, which will then see the acceleration of the car without needing to hold the button down. This can be done for any programmable input.
More details about the Access controller will arrive later in the year.