Project Leonardo is a PS5 controller designed for people with disabilities. According to Sony, the new controller is a “promising device” that aims to make games more accessible for people with physical limitations. The controller is said to be designed to be a hybrid of the best aspects of traditional controllers and accessories. It has four 3.5mm AUX ports, which allow it to connect to other devices. It also features programmable thumbsticks, which should be useful for gamers who need help.
Traditionally, the PlayStation has been the most accessible gaming platform in the industry, but accessibility is still a work in progress. One solution for those who have limited motor control is the DualSense controller, which features adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. But Sony has not yet made a big leap forward in providing specialized hardware.
Project Leonardo is a dotted circular object that looks like it may be a hub with a myriad of components. In the simplest of terms, it consists of a DualSense controller, an AMPS mount, and a handful of buttons. When assembled together, it seems like a very clever solution for playing PlayStation games. However, it has no official price tag and a launch date is still a couple of years out.
The project has been developed in collaboration with the PlayStation community, including disability organizations, game developers, and accessibility experts. A few early renders have shown the product in action. There is no official pricing or release date at present, but Sony has indicated that the device is being tested with community members.
While the name is not well known, the project has been around for several months. This patented controller is said to be the most comprehensive gaming accessibility solution on the market today. Designed for people with a variety of motor and vision limitations, it will feature customisable buttons, analogue sticks, and an array of remapping features to maximize accessibility. As a bonus, the controller kit works with a wide variety of third-party accessibility accessories. Moreover, it is a modular system, meaning players can mix and match components to suit their own needs.
A few of the key features of the project include an audio signal for text input, a built-in motion sensor for interacting with objects, and a screen reader function. These features are designed to be user-friendly, allowing gamers with limited vision to navigate the menus and read text with minimal input from an onscreen keyboard. Lastly, the device is said to be able to handle an analog joystick and eight buttons. Although it is not quite the Xbox Adaptive Controller, it is expected to offer users the same sort of features at a cheaper price.
Its multi-faceted design will help PlayStation 5 gamers of all ages and abilities enjoy the same games as everyone else. For instance, the controller is able to be programmed with presets and a voice-activated feature called voice dictation that will allow users to type text without having to use an on-screen keyboard. The software that powers the feature is said to be designed to support multiple languages on the PS5.