We took a comprehensive look at one of Sony’s next major endeavors during the PlayStation part of the company’s CES press conference. Sony, as part of their ongoing commitment to accessibility, has announced a new customisable controller for people who may be unable to utilize a conventional DualSense for whatever reason. The new Project Leonardo controller, which is still under development, would allow more people to interact with games in ways that were previously difficult or impossible.
Project Leonardo employs a modular construction approach that allows players to select which buttons go where, how much space their hands require, and other factors in order to “create a design that works for their strength, range of motion, and specific physical demands.” The Project Leonardo controller provides for varied shaped or spaced analog sticks, as well as a flat design that allows it to rest comfortably on a table or a wheelchair tray.
Customization extends to the software level as well, with options ranging from unique button mapping to numerous controller layout profiles to the ability to press two buttons simultaneously with a single press. If a player need more than one controller to fully enjoy a game, they can use up to two Project Leonardo controllers and a third DualSense controller. The three devices function in unison, and the new controller includes several expanding 3.5mm AUX ports in case the player has extra accessibility needs that are met by a third-party solution.
PlayStation did not create Project Leonardo in a vacuum. They collaborated with accessibility specialists and groups like as AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, and Stack Up to guarantee the product satisfied the numerous accessibility requirements that impede or hinder gamers from enjoying the activity.
This isn’t PlayStation’s first push towards accessibility, with games like God of War Ragnarok and The Last of Us Part I providing extensive suites of choices for players who may require them. It is, however, a huge step forward for the firm, bringing accessibility into the hardware arena to compete with Xbox’s own Adaptive Controller and providing a first-party option created specifically for the PS5.
While there was no mention of a release date for Project Leonardo, many of the experts and consultants who worked with PlayStation on the controller seem extremely optimistic about what it can offer gamers who require those extra accessibility options to enjoy all games, regardless of their situation.