This game controller gives us a glimpse at a possible future for next-gen consoles

The Proteus Controller could be the ideal solution for all players

Xbox Proteus Controller
(Image credit: Xbox)
Quick Summary

A modular controller that's been developed with Xbox allows you to completely customise its shape, as well as buttons.

This makes it ideal for everyone – able-bodied or otherwise – and could be a sign for future game controllers to come.

Xbox marked this week's Global Accessibility Awareness Day with the announcement of a super-impressive new controller available to pre-order now. 

The Proteus Controller is an almost entirely modular controller kit comprised of blocks that can be arranged in a host of ways, and with swappable button plates to let you create systems that work for you. 

The controller is made by a company called Byowave, but it sounds like there's been close collaboration with the Xbox team to get it perfect. 

It's a pricy bit of kit, though – while there's a pre-order discount now taking it down to $255, it'll be $299 when it's fully launched. That's comparable to pro controllers at the highest grade. 

In fact, the price will steadily ratchet up to the full RRP as Byowave sells out small waves of pre-orders, so if you know you'll be picking one up there's no sense hanging around. 

Thanks to controller-style grips, you can even build the Proteus into something that looks a lot like a usual gamepad, just with all of its elements able to be swapped around to suit your hands or a required layout. 

It's not just a layout, either, though – you can also remap all of the buttons, making this completely customisable. Perhaps this is also a glimpse of the level of freedom we might get in forthcoming console generations.

This is a great reminder that, for all its sales have been floundering in the last year, this console generation has seen some superb work from Microsoft on accessibility – not least because it's had the Xbox Adaptive Controller available for a few years now. 

That controller has the major boast of being far more affordable, and it's also getting an update this week to make more accessories work with its USB port, allowing for more supplemental buttons and controls.

Sony was slower to get into gear but it now has the PlayStation Access controller, too, so in terms of first-party and official accessibility controllers, things have never been better. 

The Proteus controller will only work with Xbox Series X/S and Windows 10/11 when it launches, although Byowave says it would "love" to work with Nintendo or PlayStation on controllers for their systems down the line. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.