Sony reveal Project Leonardo accessible controller for PS5

Project Leonardo PS5 header

Sony has revealed Project Leonardo, a new accessible controller that is currently in development for PlayStation 5.

Working alongside accessibility experts, Project Leonardo will be an “out of the box” controller that should require minimal customisation in order to help players with disabilities to play games more easily. In particular, it’s aiming to reduce the stresses that a traditional controller puts on players with limited motor control, whether it’s holding a controller for long periods, making use of small buttons and triggers, or needing to have fingers and thumbs in specific positions.

Project Leonardo is a circular device that can lie flat on a surface. It’s equivalent to one half of a DualSense controller with eight configurable buttons and an analogue stick equivalent. There’s also four 3.5mm AUX ports that provide a standard interface for third party switches and accessories. All of this can be modified with different button and paddle attachments, with remappable buttons baked into the PS5 system software and three control profiles.

These individual controllers can be used in various ways, whether that’s as a distinct pair of controllers, in combination with a DualSense controller to create a single virtual controller, and that can also enable collaborative play with others.

Project Leonardo customisation PS5 accessibility controller

It’s great to see Sony taking this step for more accessible gaming, especially considering the extensive efforts that the premier game studios have put in to make their games more accessible on a software level. Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II and the Part I remaster and Santa Monica Studio’s God of War Ragnarök are prime examples of transformative accessibility options in games, but Sony hasn’t had the hardware to match these efforts.

Sony’s Project Leonardo will add a first party accessible controller option on a par with Microsoft’ Xbox Adaptive Controller which was released in in 2018. It’s a different approach and design to Microsoft’s equivalent, but there’s no one size fits all design for this kind of technology.

As yet there’s no price point that Sony is targeting or launch date for the device, with Sony saying that it is still in development and that they are gathering feedback from the community.

Source: PS Blog

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1 Comment

  1. Very good news, finally..! These options are so important for the people who need them, as otherwise they’re left out and can’t play the games we all like so much. It’s very good Sony is doing more in this field now, following the good example of MS. I hope it’ll be affordable.

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