PlayStation's Project Leonardo was announced this week at CES 2023 and it's worth shouting about because it'll make console gaming a lot more accessible to people with disabilities.
A customisable controller kit for the PlayStation 5 that's ready to use straight out of the box, it was created for those with more limited motor control, so it'll be well suited to anyone who has problems holding controllers over long periods of time or positioning their thumbs and fingers on Sony's standard controllers, and it'll be useful to those who often find it difficult to accurately press buttons and triggers as well.
The device lays flat so you won't need to pick it up or hold it, and it can be attached to AMPS mounts or tripods so you can use it at whichever angle is most comfortable for you.
What's really great is that you can configure the layout of the controller yourself depending on your individual needs. The kit comes with a number of swappable components like different-shaped buttons and analogue stick caps. You can also adjust the distance between the analogue stick cap and the base.
Any function can be programmed to any of the buttons and you'll be able to programme two to a single switch, for instance, “R2” + “L2” can be combined into one single action.
Once you've found a configuration that works for you, the settings can be saved as a profile. Up to 3 profiles can be kept on the controller at once and you'll be able to swap between them using a dedicated button on the device.
Each controller kit can be used on its own, with another, or alongside the DualSense wireless controllers if someone else is helping you along. You'll be able to use it in a way that's individually suited to your needs but the fact that it lets you play collaboratively with other people as well makes this a really flexible device.
PlayStation consulted with accessibility experts and organisations like AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stack Up in building this product, but they also made sure that this would work effectively with most third-party accessories. Its four 3.5mm auxiliary ports are to thank for that.
Plenty of people will want to rush out and buy this but unfortunately, the project is still being developed. Because of that, there's no price or release date on the cards just yet, but keep an eye out for more news on this to come.