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Sony's Access controller for the PlayStation aims to make gaming easier for people with disabilities
Playing video games has long been a challenge for many people with disabilities, since the traditional controllers for the PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo can be difficult or for many people with disabilities, since the traditional controllers even impossible to maneuver when a person has limited mobility
SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — Paul Lane uses his mouth, cheek and chin to push buttons and guide his virtual car around the “Gran Turismo” racetrack on the PlayStation 5. It's how he's been playing for the past 23 years, after a car accident left him unable to use his fingers.
Playing video games has long been a challenge for people with disabilities, chiefly because the standard controllers for the PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo can be difficult, or even impossible, to maneuver for people with limited mobility. And losing the ability to play the games doesn't just mean the loss of a favorite pastime, it can also exacerbate social isolation in a community already experiencing it at a far higher rate than the general population.
As part of the gaming industry's efforts to address the problem, Sony has developed the Access controller for the PlayStation, working with input from Lane and other accessibility consultants. Its the latest addition to the accessible-controller market, whose contributors range from Microsoft to startups and even hobbyists with 3D printers.
"I was big into sports before my injury," said Cesar Flores, 30, who uses a wheelchair since a car accident eight years ago and also consulted Sony on the controller. “I wrestled in high school, played football. I lifted a lot of weights, all these little things. And even though I can still train in certain ways, there are physical things that I can’t do anymore. And when I play video games, it reminds me that I’m still human. It reminds me that I’m still one of the guys.”