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Sony’s Project Leonardo controller makes PS5 gaming more accessible

Sony’s first-party game studios have done some great work in improving accessibility options for gamers, but the company has trailed Microsoft when it comes to accessories designed for gamers with different needs.

The company hopes the newly-announced Project Leonardo controller kit, revealed at CES 2023, will redress the balance. The customisable controller kit, which features the familiar controls in a circular design with a directional joystick.

In a blog post, Sony says the controller, which is destined for a future release, will help “many players with disabilities play games more easily, more comfortably, and for longer periods.”

The gaming giant has engaged with accessibility experts and the gaming community to create the configurable controller that will address the needs of gamers who have difficulty holding the controller for long periods, or accurately pressing the small, close together buttons, or positioning their fingers and thumbs.

You can see the consideration that went into Project Leonardo in the video below.

Sony says the controller kit is a canvas for gamers to craft their own layout and configuration that “works for their strength, range of motion, and particular physical needs.”

Of course, the resulting layout can be mapped to the inputs required for games on the PS5 console and profiles can be set up to ensure they’re stored. The Project Leonardo controllers can be used alongside DualSense controllers too. That means friends or family members can assist with helping to control the player’s game, if required.

So Morimoto, Designer, Sony Interactive Entertainment says: “Because players can customise Project Leonardo according to their needs, there is no one ‘right’ form factor. We want to empower them to create their own configurations. The controller can also flexibly accept combinations of accessibility accessories to create a unique aesthetic. I am excited that the design will be completed through collaboration with players rather than presenting them with a single form factor.”

Sony says there’ll be more news on features and launch details in the future.

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