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Microsoft unveils customizable Xbox controller for gamers with disabilities, and you can preorder now

The Proteus Controller, made up of interchangeable cubes, has more than 100 million possible combinations, the company says.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
ByoWave Proteus Controller

Just after Apple announced a new accessibility feature that lets you control an iPhone or iPad with your eyes, and Google announced a new tool that lets you control an Android phone with your face, Microsoft announced its own innovation in accessibility.

Microsoft made the announcement on Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

Also: How to connect Bluetooth headphones to the Xbox One, Series S, or Series X

The new device, intended for players with disabilities, is called the Proteus Controller. Created by ByoWave, it's a wireless Xbox controller kit that consists of small, interchangeable "snap and play" cubes, each with a different faceplate, including buttons, direction pads, and analog sticks. Users can configure the cubes into more than 100 million traditional and custom button and lighting setups depending on their preference. Buttons are even remappable through an app.

"The Proteus Controller works well for one-handed gamers, gamers with chronic pain, and generally anyone who is still able to press standard buttons and inputs," ByoWave wrote, "but who find the layout of standard controllers problematic or cannot hold a controller."

Microsoft says the controller kit "comes with everything gamers need to play their favorite Xbox and PC games right out of the box." ByoWave explained that players can combine more than one kit -- up to 30 modules together -- and attach multiples of a single part.

Players concerned about stick drift can adjust the dead zones for analog sticks and recalibrate them with the companion app.

Also: The best Xbox headsets: Expert tested

At launch, Proteus works with the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Windows 10, and Windows 11.

The Proteus Controller will ship this fall, but if you're considering one, you'll need to move quickly to get the lowest price. The kit will cost $299 retail, but it can be preordered for $255. ByoWave is selling it in tiers, with only 155 available at the lowest price. After those sell out, 500 kits at $268 and 1,000 kits at $284 are available. For comparison, a standard Xbox controller is $49.

PlayStation does have a similar product, called the Access Controller, which retails for $89. While it also has customizable buttons, Sony's approach is a bit different, requiring the controller to sit on a flat surface. Microsoft's controller can sit on a flat surface or be held in a player's hand.

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