Sony Show Off Its Newest PS5 Accessible Controller

Muhammad Razief Razqie . January 05, 2023

Picture: IGN

Techspace - The newest PS5 accessible controller, dubbed Project Leonardo by sony, was recently shown in Consumer Electronics Show 2023. Project Leonardo is designed to, remove barriers to gaming and help players with disabilities play more easily, more comfortably, and for longer periods on PS5. The controller itself is similar to Xbox Adaptive Controller in which the players could remap the buttons to their comfort.

According to a PlayStation blog post, the device was designed with guidance 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.

The Project Leonardo controller features a split, symmetric design that allows users to adjust 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. Additionally in true PS5 style, the controller features a similar color scheme as its DualSense counterpart with white and black casings as well as the familiar azure light.

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.

Highly customizable play experience

Project Leonardo for PS5 is a canvas for gamers to craft their own play experience. It includes a robust kit of swappable components, including a variety of analog stick caps and buttons in different shapes and sizes.

Players can use these components to craft a wide array of control layouts. And the distance of the analog stick from the gamepad can be adjusted to suit the player’s preference. These components allow players to find a configuration that works for their strength, range of motion, and particular physical needs.

Strength in Unity

Project Leonardo can be used as a standalone controller or paired with additional Project Leonardo or DualSense wireless controllers. 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, or to play collaboratively with others.

For example, players can augment their DualSense controller with a Project Leonardo controller or use two Project Leonardo controllers on their own. A friend or family member can also assist by helping to control the player’s game character with a DualSense controller or a second Project Leonardo controller. The controllers can be dynamically turned on or off and used in any combination.

Project Leonardo is expandable through four 3.5mm AUX ports to support a variety of external switches and third-party accessibility accessories. This enables users to integrate specialty switches, buttons, or analog sticks with the Project Leonardo controller. The external accessories can be dynamically connected or disconnected, and each can be configured to act like any other button.

PlayStation said Project Leonardo is still in active development, and the company is continuing to gather valuable feedback from the community.

With the announcement of Project Leonardo, the push for accessible gaming for everyone has never been at full throttle as it is right now. We can expect more developers to gradually introduce accessibility options in their games even more often now.

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