Spencer on Getting The Adaptive Controller to as Many Folks as Possible: It's a Business Opportunity

Head of Xbox division Phil Spencer revealed that the Xbox Adaptive Controller is more than just social goodness as there's a business opportunity there and Microsoft plans to get it to as many people as possible.

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Chris_Wray211d ago

Of course it makes perfect sense both out of a 'goodness' aspect and a business aspect to get the adaptive controller out there. The 'goodness' side is plain as they are the first real console manufacturer to make a special controller for anybody with a disability that inhibits the use of a regular controller. Business wise, being the first means that those who will use it have a reason to pick the platform and, as such, games sales can increase as a result.

KaiPow211d ago

Making these kind of adaptations available for everyone that wants to use them is a huge win for gamers under rehabilitation. I respect the work that Able gamers does and some of those elaborate solutions they find to help out someone in need can get pricey.

Haki1112210d ago

who would down vote this??

Jinger210d ago


Because it's something positive about MS/Xbox so it's going to get downvotes just on principle.

Eonjay210d ago

They aren't the first to make controllers for disabled people. At all. Can we give them credit without giving them something that isn't true? Can we be honest?

TheUndertaker85210d ago

Show me one mass produced by either Sony or Nintendo for Switch or PS4. Now try PS3 or Wii U.

So HONESTLY Microsoft is the first console manufacturer this gen and last that developed a controller specifically for the disabled community to enjoy games. And HONESTLY Microsoft doesn’t have the count of PS4 at this point so they stand to lose more for GOODWILL and attempting to include as many people as possible.

Gaming_1st210d ago


Is that the same "GOODWILL" MS used last gen to push out a faulty product on consumers to lose more?

rainslacker210d ago

They're the first platform holder to make it though. That means system level support, which was something sorely missing in the past. That also means SDK/API support at the core, which is better than the button mapping techniques that most of these devices use.

There is still the matter of developers taking advantage of it, but this is a step in the right direction, and MS should be given credit for doing what they did. They certainly aren't the first to make such controllers, but they're doing the right thing here, and if you look at MS history, they've usually been ahead of the curve when it comes to accessibility features in Windows.

gamer7804209d ago

sure as long as you don't make fun of it on your official Sony twitter account... pretty low. like making fun of someone's wheelchair.

rainslacker209d ago (Edited 209d ago )


As distasteful as that post was from a competitive stand point, when that post was made, it wasn't known that the controller was being designed for the purpose of accessibility for those with handicaps. It was just a leaked picture of the controller with no information about it.

So, it wasn't that Sony was being insensitive towards those with disabilities, just that they made some stupid comment to put down the competition which wasn't neither needed or professional. It's about as lame as MS calling out Sony for not showing their console at the reveal, or people in general saying that Sony was releasing a George Foreman Grill as a console, but had nothing to do with being dismissive of those with disabilities.

When I first saw it, I thought it was going to be something for something similar to DJ Hero, or some multipurpose controller for some game or system feature. Or possibly just a experimental controller that would never see the light of day.

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Prince_TFK210d ago (Edited 210d ago )

You spin a positive thing into a negative thing. Unbelievable. Next thing you know, even the length of a cable that come with a console will cause a console war.

UCForce210d ago (Edited 210d ago )

Look, business or not. This is something that I’m very happy to see disable people to be happy and have normal life just like us and have fun like us. If Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo support the charity for disabled people, I would support it. Like I said, business or not, i just want these people to be happy.

Jinger210d ago

Every gamer deserves to game.

trooper_210d ago

That's nice but why isn't Spencer focusing on games as well?

rainslacker210d ago

Because comments like this distract from the good things that can be done when companies put their mind to it.

I'm not happy with MS software output, but I will give them credit when they do something good for gaming.

trooper_210d ago (Edited 210d ago )

There's nothing wrong with that. I never discredited it. I've worked with individuals with disabilities.

But couldn't they focus on games as well?

rainslacker209d ago

Yes, MS could focus on games as well. But there is a time and place for that kind of talk, and IMO, the discussion of inclusion of more players who traditionally are not thought of that much is not that place. Something like this should be praised, and then maybe it'll be adopted by more companies, and hopefully, get developer support. That's why it shouldn't end up getting distracted by common console war topics.

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bigmalky210d ago

So what happens to the small organisations like Special Effect who have been leading the way in this field?

I'm all for it, but what about the real heroes that aren't doing it for maximum profit?

XtaZ210d ago (Edited 210d ago )

MS did not do this for maximum profit as they are certainly losing money on this with all the R&D costs just to make a product aimed at a small amount of people, and even offering their tech to other platforms without even forcing their brand on it is just amazing. MS are the real heroes here.

ImGumbyDammit210d ago (Edited 210d ago )

I don't know about heroes. Usage of that word is little on the heavy side in this case and way overused. I would say knowing how much work went into this and with the input from various communities integrated I would say Microsoft deserves kudos and respect for doing it. But, heroes? It is not like they a risking their lives (or even the company fortune on it) so heroes may be a little strong.

oasdada210d ago

"Its a business opportunity"
Yeah Reall heroes!

xX-oldboy-Xx210d ago

MS are the real heroes here - how much cringe can you put in 1 little sentence.

First or not, best or not, most successful or not - none of that matters. This is a good thing, this is above all the banter that goes on here.

XtaZ210d ago

/facepalm. So many triggered Sony fanboys who are trying to downplay this and can't handle the fact that MS have done something great for disabled people. Deal with it losers.

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rainslacker210d ago

Things like this don't return maximum profit. They allow more people to access a product.

Other companies have done stuff like this. It's nothing new. But it's never been done in a way that it has the potential to be built into the system itself. That's a big thing that these smaller companies can't actually achieve without working with the bigger companies, and it's hard for smaller companies to really get that going. On top of that, the development community doesn't usually get on board, but they are more likely to do so if it's built into a base SDK like DirectX or OGL. Otherwise, these devices are just button mapped, and may not be programmed to take advantage of what the devices themselves can offer by offering up specific input methods.

Cobra951210d ago

Considering a normal controller goes for $60, pricing this thing at $100 really surprises me. I thought it would be a lot more.

Tankbusta40210d ago

Phil Spencer continues to make bone headed decisions. Sure it's nice that people with disabilities have a better option to play but as a business decision this is not smart. You won't be getting enough new Xbox users to justify the cost of development here. Again Xbox funnels money into stuff nobody has asked for.

TheUndertaker85210d ago

Yeah, because disabled individuals shouldn’t be allowed to play games more comfortably because of profit /s

And I’m sure disabled individuals didn’t ask for it. /s

ImGumbyDammit210d ago (Edited 210d ago )

You are a bonehead. "Xbox funnels money into stuff nobody asked for" That just shows you a bigot and consider people with disabilities nobodies. I don't know anybody that watched the reveal videos and just seeing the joy in peoples faces as they used the device get a little-choked up. That alone to me would make it worth the investment. Again you are a bonehead.

I bet you are that person we all have grudgingly around us that never does anything for other people without there being something in it for themselves. Why would you if it doesn't benefit you in some way? No benefit for you then you are not interested. Perhaps people call you egocentric? How about Microsoft did it because it is the good human thing to do. Not everything has to have the goal to make a ton of money. Let us not forget goodwill points (Karma) are a commodity too. It is not like it they are betting the companies future or even their gaming on this device. Supporting gamers of all types is a great thing. I bet for you all the work they are doing like for Parkinson's or the blind is just foolish as well. And yes perhaps Microsoft can, in the future, apply what the learned here to other areas of their business like accessibility within Windows OS itself or adding features to other hardware.

Jinger210d ago (Edited 210d ago )

Wow, what an asshole you are. Charities aren't all about maximum profit either. It's about helping a group of people who still want to be gamers, but can't.

Seriously, the amount of toxic bull crap on ANYTHING MS does is just pathetic around here. Grow up.

Edit: and the fact that this has more upvotes than downvotes just proves my point.

Tankbusta40210d ago (Edited 210d ago )

Wow you SJWs don't even read the post before you come on here and spew this crap.

I said it was nice that people with disabilities get this...the point of my post was from a business standpoint.

JINGER:Microsoft is NOT A your point is moot and irrelevant.

The rest of you need to realize that from a business standpoint it is stupid. There are not enough disabled gamers to warrant this FROM A BUSINESS STANDPOINT. Microsoft is getting its teeth kicked in this generation because they refuse to acknowledge their major problem..EXCLUSIVE games. I love my Xbox One X but its a 3rd party machine. Making this controller isn't going to bring millions of gamers to the platform and from a business standpoint that makes funneling money into this device unnecessary.

Sometimes I think people worry so much about inclusion that they forget the majority and this is in Business as well as politics. The majority makes companies money...not minority. You can call me an asshole all you want and if thats your opinion I am fine with that. But from a business perspective this will be a money loser. I can't wait for Phil Spencer to take up 30 minutes at E3 trying to get good will out of this device while wearing his hipster sports coat and thinking he is doing someone good. After E3 everyone will just be wondering where the new games are and not care....its business sense of course.

I am completely fine with a 3rd party making this their mission, but as it stands the Xbox brand has other more pressing issues to tackle at the the moment.

rainslacker210d ago


It's not stupid from a business standpoint. It may not be a huge boon to their revenues, and they may even lose money on it. But it's opening up gaming to a new group of people who would otherwise be turned away because it wasn't accessible for whatever reason.

MS started adding in accessibility features a long time ago in Windows....95 IIRC, and it was a huge plus to many people because it could be hard to read the screen, or use a mouse for some people.

Over time, when people start using a product, they are less likely to use other products if they know they can use such things. This is particularly true for those who are adverse to using tech because they have a hard time doing so.

it's not a gaurantee for success now or even in the future, but it certainly doesn't help, and it's a positive all around if they actually support it.

The hard part for MS will be to get developers to support it, and realistically, a lot of games may not even be practical to use with the devices. But over time, technology evolves and new things come to make it better for everyone(hopefully), and business continues. So, instead of MS later trying to claw their way into a market where a competitor is entrenched, they are instead a forerunner that people actually know and respect. That's good for business.

ShottyatLaw210d ago

"Nobody asked for?" That's simply not true. Many people with a variety of disabilities asked for adaptive controllers. That's just an ignorant comment to make.

Even if they don't make a dollar of profit, the simple goodwill generated makes it a good business decision. The fact that it's Win 10 and console compatible means it probably will be profitable.

No Way210d ago

What an ignorant statement. First off, the y have sold MILLIONS, that's more than enough to let people who have some difficulty or disability to play, the ease of playing. Secondly, I'm sure there will be plenty of people who will be thrilled about this - even if you're not. Third, I'm sure it will bring in at least SOME sales, that the other systems won't have. Works well for everyone, if you ask me.

Tankbusta40210d ago

@Rain...Listen I am going to say this a 3rd time...its nice people with disabilities have an option.

My problem is BUSINESS. As an Xbox owner(I also own a ps4) I feel like Phil Spencer and management suffer from extreme cases of ADHD.

First they did the fancy controller...then the One X...Now this...without ever addressing their major

If the Xbox brand made this and was going to give this as a charitable donation to every gamer with a disability and take the obvious charity kick back on their taxes...I would be cheering. Nope they are proving to be idiotic businessmen who are taking a loss on the device to try and divert attention from their real problem.

The Windows platform is a different has the market share for a much larger computer market so it can afford to diversify to include everyone...the XBOX brand cannot. As someone who has spent well over $1,000 dollars into the brand this year alone...I can have an opinion on this and if next generation...Phil Spencer, Mike Ybarra and others at the top are not replaced...I will NOT throw my money at them because they have proven time and time again that they don't want to address the real concerns of majority gamers.

Also I hope everyone that is championing this goes out and buys a brand new Xbox to show their support instead of being fake supporters online(I know most of you won't...which just proves my point about this being a worthless business venture)

TheUndertaker85209d ago (Edited 209d ago )

Here. Know how to solve your issue point blank as this is becoming flat out stupid. People putting business and profits over an individual and wonder what the actual problem is with the world today.

If these individuals with disabilities are unable to play games they can now do so. If they are unable to play they likely don’t have a console or gaming setup.

So Microsoft gets a sale from the controller if not multiples along with a console or possibly PC where a vast majority sport Windows and Microsoft receives a cut. On top of the potential to move more software, gain another subscription for Xbox Live or Xbox Game Pass, AND be the only console manufacturer to offer a MASS PRODUCED controller suited for individuals with disabilities.

So there’s the money that you’ve been talking about and putting priority on. The PR alone of being THE ONLY CONSOLE MANUFACTURER TO OFFER A CONTROLLER FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES is another ace in the whole for the product and Microsoft.

And PLEASE, explain to me what wheel chair ramps, handicap access, and numerous other things in the world do to generate profit. I’m sure it’ll be a great story. I’d guess by your arguments here anything benefiting individuals with disabilities should be eliminated when they don’t generate profits. Someone has to profit after all. Maybe we can install toll booths at the entrances so that ramp costs $1 to use or hey, I suppose they can take the stairs. /s

I am very glad the entire world does not share your point of view that profits are more important than people. Which with all your arguing about profits literally states that is your priority, as you keep repeating.

For the future as well do keep this in mind. The people generate the money for these companies, not the money generating people. Money may talk but without the people it’s just like the tree that falls in the woods.

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