“Video games are for everyone,” says Alvin Daniel as he shows me what the new PlayStation Access Controller looks like. And he continues: “there should not be cases in which someone cannot play because they have a disability.” Alvin Daniel is the Senior Technical Program Manager at Sony Interactive Entertainment and today, December 6, the project on which he and his team have been working since 2018 hits stores.

The Access Controller is a new controller for PlayStation 5 designed so that people with reduced mobility can play video games. This is the quick summary. It is a circular structure with nine buttons, a flat base and a fully adjustable joystick. “It is important that the base is flat because many people find it difficult to hold the controller in their hands, in addition, we have also added screw holes so that it can be fixed to a wheelchair, table or tripod,” he says. Alvin Daniel in this exclusive interview with La Vanguardia.

The design may seem curious, but when I ask him about it, his response is quick and direct: “Imagine that, out of nowhere, I asked you to design an accessible controller, what shape would it have?” The development period for this controller has taken much longer than usual. Daniel’s team started working on it in 2018 and, during these five years, they have had the collaboration of associations and accessibility experts to create the product.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the community receives it, I’m sure they will give us interesting opinions that will help us improve,” says Alvin Daniel. The Access Controller has been designed taking into account three basic pillars: that it can rest on a flat surface, that the buttons are large and configurable, and that the joystick can be customized. For people with reduced mobility, these three points are the ones that create the greatest difficulty when using a remote control.

The field of accessibility has improved a lot in recent years. A few months ago, we told you about a system that allowed blind people to play racing games. But as Alvin Daniel says, “accessibility can be in video games, this is the easiest, or it can be implemented on the console through a screen narrator, for example. What we needed was to create a device that would allow us to communicate with the software and the console in an accessible way.”

Everything in the Access Controller is configurable. When you connect to a PS5 for the first time, a kind of tutorial begins that serves to customize the controller to your liking. Each button, sensitivity and position, everything can be modified. In addition, the controller also has universal 3.5mm connectors compatible with devices from other manufacturers. Lastly, a user can connect multiple Access Controllers to their PS5 or can use it in combination with the DualSense.

– It only works on PlayStation 5 and has been designed exclusively for PS5 – says Alvin.

–Maybe it will work on computers in the future?

– We can’t promise anything, but as I said, we are always listening to the players’ comments.

The Access Controller arrives today on the Sony console with a recommended price of 89.99 euros. For many users, this should change the way they play video games. As we said at the beginning of the article, video games are (or should be) for everyone and it is important not to forget that.