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Looking forward to: Hardware accessibility •




Welcome to another work that looks forward to 2022. Today: A key issue in hardware accessibility.

I’m a conscientious objector in the console war, so don’t expect to drop a bomb. I’m a fan of both Xbox and PlayStation, but the accessibility flag is essential for planting in no man’s land.

Hardware accessibility is a current issue, especially when it comes to handling Xbox and PlayStation. My point is reflected in many disabled gamers who need a specific controller to enjoy the game.

The question here is, would game developers waste effort designing accessibility settings without an accessible controller?

Accessibility settings must be accessible. Backward compatibility of the controller should be a basic aspect of the new console and controller. The cause here is the PlayStation’s decision to limit the player to using only the DualSense controller on the PS5.

My setup is built around a Dualshock 4 controller and a Titan 2 device, so I can’t use the PS5 DualSense controller. The main reasons are changes in shape, weight, button placement and grip. Small changes create a big barrier.

It does not imply that DualSense is a terrible controller or that features such as tactile feedback and adaptive triggers are meaningless. Understand the implications of increased immersiveness and the benefits of accessibility for hearing-impaired or visually impaired gamers.

Ratchets & Cranks have great accessibility options, but with DualSense, some players won’t be able to enjoy them.

You can also disable these additional features. People with weakness or movement disorders turn off immediately. Without these features, the PS4 controller should be compatible with the PS5, as DualSense is essentially similar to the PS4 controller.

In comparison, Xbox allows you to migrate your setup and use any controller that is compatible with your capabilities. The gatekeeper hasn’t locked you out on Xbox because you’re not on any guest list.

From a business perspective, we understand why PlayStation is focused on selling new consoles and controllers. However, this contradicts the PlayStation’s great accessibility team and the comprehensive philosophy of developers such as Insomniac, Guerrilla, and Naughty Dog. These developers have worked hard to specially design accessibility settings so that gamers with disabilities can enjoy the game.

This hardware issue also prevents accessibility consultants from working with PlayStation developers, ultimately negatively impacting the overall accessibility of the game.

This was not always the case. At first, the setup moved smoothly to PS5, and I finished Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart without any problems. Then, like an enemy attacked by a topiary thrower, I freezed with a PS5 update and removed the loopholes that allowed the setup to work.

Forza Horizon 5 is another accessibility win.

The problem is the communication required every 10 seconds between the PS5 and the DualSense controller, which authenticates that the DS5 is in use. In fact, this authentication check means that Titan2 will stop working every 10 seconds.

Currently, the only solution is to play using the PlayStation Remote Play app. However, this is not the ideal solution. Thankfully, the Console Tuner people who created Titan 2 are working on a fix. It’s a kind of add-on that will be released in 2022, but it requires additional purchase.

Gamers with disabilities just want to enjoy the game at no additional hurdles or costs. Finding the perfect setup is like Roguelite. It’s difficult, takes hours to complete, and fails many times. You’re overjoyed to the end, but know that if the platform holder makes the setup obsolete again, this will be a never-ending battle.

After all, accessibility has to be true, and it’s painful to say negative things about the console that gave me beautiful memories.




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