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The Piece Of Xbox Tech That Inspired Nintendo To Do The Same

It's usually smart to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and draw inspiration from their success. It's surprising, though, when Nintendo is looking to other studios for ideas for innovative game controllers. Nintendo is known its innovation with every generation. This is such a truism that gamers have made memes about it. Despite this reputation, it seems Nintendo is borrowing ideas from Xbox for a new controller that will benefit gamers with disabilities.

When Microsoft released its Xbox adaptive controller, it created new possibilities for players with disabilities. The large controller with more accessible buttons could be attached to a variety of other devices and used to play games on the Xbox and PC. This made gaming possible for people who were unable to hold and use a standard controller, and opened up new possibilities for all types of gamers. Now, TechRadar reports that the Xbox controller prompted Nintendo to consider developing its own version of the technology.

Reggie Fils-Aimé, the former president of Nintendo of America, explained to Inverse that he wants to see the gaming industry make greater strides in serving all gamers, including disabled gamers. In his last days at Nintendo, he led an effort to draw on the idea of the Xbox adaptive controller to create a Nintendo version that had the potential to be an even bigger support for gamers with disabilities.

Nintendo considered developing its own accessibility controller

"Imagine an adaptive controller that you could play with your latest Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo platform. That's what we were working on three years ago," Fils-Aimé stated. He imagined a single controller that a player could take to any console or computer and customize to their preferences, opening up the entire gaming space for more people. Sadly, since his retirement and departure from Nintendo, Fils-Aimé is unsure if the project has been continued in his absence. There's currently no word if Nintendo is planning to release its own adaptive controller in the near future.

Still, the fact that it was considered at Nintendo is an encouraging sign and speaks to a larger trend in the industry at the moment. In recent years, apart from the Xbox adaptive controller, we've seen a variety of efforts by developers to make games more accessible. Last year there were indications that "Warzone" was making some long-awaited changes to improve accessibility. Meanwhile, passionate individuals have been stepping up to create their own accessible and inventive controllers. These include a YouTuber who wanted to be able to play "It Takes Two" with one hand and a dad who built his daughter an accessible "Breath of the Wild" controller. More recently one self-taught programmer developed new technology that lets you play with just your face.

While it's currently unknown if Nintendo is still pursuing its own version of the Xbox technology, there certainly are plenty of others who are ready to take that next technological leap.