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Sony introduces its very first accessible controller



It was time for Sony to enter the accessibility market with a very special controller.

CES 2023 has started well, and Sony is not taking it lightly. The show, centered on technological innovation, saw the birth of an inclusive controller, intended for people with disabilities. baptized Project Leonardo, it is only the second first-party controller, that is to say manufactured by one of the three giants of the video game industry. The first of its kind is already well known and belongs to Microsoft. Sony intends to compete once again with its great rival.

The Leonardo controller comes in a radically different form from the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and makes us think of a game Simon (you know, the memory and color game). Round, it is surrounded by several large buttons for each of the controls of the classic joysticks. A second part, directly attached to the first, allows manipulation of a joystick. All buttons and caps are replaceable, and there are several sizes and shapes to best suit every gamer.

Credits: Sony

Sony is catching up

Particularly proud of this new invention, Jim Ryan, the boss of PlayStation, explains that Project Leonardo is a logical continuation of what Sony has started to create. Let’s not forget that the last God of War Ragnarok carried with it one of the longest lists of accessibility options, in order to accommodate different handicaps. He declares :

Our goal has always been to break down the barriers of gaming and allow as many people as possible to enjoy games. […] The Leonardo Project is a product we’ve been developing for years, with the goal of creating something truly unique and meeting the needs of a wide range of players with different physical needs. It’s really a toolkit that lets you customize your gaming experience the way you want..”

So Morimoto, one of the designers at Sony, also explains:

Our team tested more than a dozen designs with accessibility experts, looking for approaches to address key challenges in using the controller effectively. We finally opted for a joystick divided into two parts, which allows the repositioning of the left/right thumb almost freely, which can be used without needing to be held and which offers great flexibility in the replacement of the buttons. As gamers can customize it according to their needs, there is no single form factor. We want to allow them to create their own configurations.”

Price and availability

For the moment, no release date or price have been revealed and we will have to wait a little longer before knowing more. Note, however, that the controller can be used alone, or in conjunction with the DualSense, which can be interesting for some players. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to discover the new DualSense Edge, the pro version of the PS5 controller.

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