Microsoft introduces new Proteus Xbox accessibility controller, preorders available now

 Xbox Proteus controller blue background.
Xbox Proteus controller blue background.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced the new Proteus accessibility-focused gaming controller for Xbox.

  • Designed alongside the team at Byowave, the Proteus Controller can be customized with special parts that snap together, allowing an extremely high range of customization for players who have accessibility challenges.

  • The Proteus Controller is available for preorder now at $255 for early orders, though the price will go up to $299 after a while.

  • Xbox is also working to improve accessibility in a number of games from different teams, including Candy Crush and Diablo 4.

There's a new accessibility-focused Xbox controller on the way.

Microsoft shared details on the Proteus Controller on Wednesday via Xbox Wire, revealing the design that's been worked on by Xbox alongside the team at Byowave. The Proteus Controller is officially Designed for Xbox, and features a special modular design, allowing players to swap different components in and out to best suit their particular needs.

Per Byowave, the Proteus Controller supports over 100 million part and LED configurations, and includes the following:

  • 2 Power Cubes

  • 1 Charge Spacer

  • 2 Analog Cubes (left and right)

  • 1 Half Cube

  • 2 Edge Spacers

  • 1 Xbox Peripheral

  • 1 XYAB Peripheral

  • 1 D-pad Peripheral

  • 2 Trigger Peripherals (left and right)

  • 2 One Button Peripherals

  • 1 Mini Analog Stick

  • 9 Socket Covers

  • 1 Plug Cover

  • 1 Plug Mount Cover

The Proteus Controller is available for preorder at $299, though early VIP orders can grab the controller a discounted price of $255. The controllers are currently estimated to ship at some point in Fall 2024.

What else is Xbox doing to increase accessibility in gaming?

Xbox Adaptive Controller
Xbox Adaptive Controller

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In addition to this new controller, Microsoft is working on an update for the Xbox Adaptive Controller which will allow this existing accessibility-focused controller to be compatible with more accessories when connected through USB ports. There's no exact for when the update will be available, but Microsoft indicates it'll be coming to Xbox Insiders in a few weeks, with a general release some months later.

Outside of this update, players can expect some big accessibility-focused updates coming to a number of Xbox franchises, including under the recently-acquired Activision Blizzard. The Diablo 4 team is releasing a video on May 16 that'll be discussing how the developers are working to improve accessibility.

Meanwhile, Candy Crush Soda Saga is getting a new accessibility menu, allowing players to easily adjust bass and high frequencies, sound effects, controls, and much more.

Analysis: Some great stuff to expand the Xbox accessibility suite

I've appreciated the Xbox team's focus on accessibility for a long time, and I'm really glad to see that work continuing here. The Proteus Controller is certainly pricey, but the modular design means it should be incredibly useful for a wide range of players who struggle with different physical limitations.

More game updates to improve accessibility is also great to see. Broadly speaking, games have gotten better about this over time. Going back even just a decade, an accessibility menu wouldn't have been a thing. Now it's (quite rightfully) expected. Perfection should not be the enemy of progress, and I hope to see this work continuing at the same pace for a long, long time.