Even The Xbox Adaptive Controller’s Packaging Is Accessible | Gaming
Microsoft announced the Xbox Adaptive Controller two months ago with the intention of making gaming more accessible to people with a broad range of disabilities. The feedback for this was overwhelmingly positive, but Microsoft’s work was far from over.
Industrial designer Mark Weiser was given the job of ensuring the controller would do the its mission statement justice, and this was no small task. Package design typically prioritizes looking sleek presentation, and doesn’t really take into account consumers with disabilities. Microsoft did both for the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and the end result is a snazzy package design that users with disabilities should be able to open without struggle.
Weiser, who had already decided not to use zip ties with the package, soon discovered another common request: no teeth. A wide range of users with disabilities already use their teeth to open everything from cereal boxes to beer bottles, and they had no desire to use them to open up Microsoft’s packaging. Ongoing discussion with these users brought forward the idea of using loops to easily open up the packaging, and that users would rather have a higher number of simple steps to follow rather than a few complicated steps. With that design philosophy in mind, Weiser spent the next few months finalizing the packaging design until he, the team, and user base were happy.
Gamers can take a look at digital opening of the Xbox Adaptive Controller packaging below:
Microsoft is already looking to take the package design methods behind the Xbox Adaptive Controller and bring them to other product lines, stating that discussions for this are already underway. That way, consumers who purchase other items like a headset or an unrelated Microsoft product will run into less accessibility barriers, and that leads to more consumer trust in Microsoft.
The official PlayStation Middle-East Twitter account took serious heat for making fun of the controller’s design, joking that the controller was a stove. It’s common for industry rivals to make fun of one another, but Sony’s Middle Eastern communications arm evidently crossed a line with its comment.
All in all, the final Xbox Adaptive Controller packaging went through over 100 different versions before arriving at the one shown off in the video above. Rigid paperboard gives less resistance when lifted, so it was the material of the choice for the interior box. This box also has a hinged opening rather than a lid, which can be difficult to open for gamers who don’t have two hands. Microsoft went with larger oval loops rather than producing smaller loops that require less material since consumers may have difficulty navigating a smaller-sized loop. It’s clever packaging design, and it shows that Microsoft was thinking about consumers with disabilities every step of the way with the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller will release this September for $99. Consumers can place pre-orders right here.