The packaging for Microsoft’s new Xbox Adaptive Controller has been designed to be opened by gamers with limited mobility.
Following feedback from players with disabilities, the company decided not use twist ties and thick plastic on the product’s box, and added loops and hinges so the controller can be removed easily in multiple ways. This even applies to the shipping box.
With so little plastic, it also means that almost all of the boxes can be recycled.
The Adaptive Controller, which can be used with Xbox consoles and Windows 10 PCs lets people with disabilities plug in the assistive aids they already own to play games. This allows those with limited mobility to use their own buttons, joysticks and switches to mimic a standard controller, so they can play any videogame. They can choose which assistive aid will make the character jump, run or shoot, for example, without relying on pressing specific buttons on the controller that came with the Xbox.
It will be released in the UK in September, priced at £74.99, but can be pre-ordered now.
The packaging had to enable gamers with limited dexterity, who might be using just one hand or arm, to easily open the box and remove the controller, and it had to be as high-quality and aesthetically appealing as any other Xbox box.
Here’s what they came up with:
Xbox added a loop on the outside of the specially designed retail shipping box so you can easily remove the sealing tape. With other boxes, there is usually tape here that you would need a sharp object to get into, but once you pull the ring, the shipping box pops open. Cardboard air cells at the ends protect the product, and avoid the need for bubble wrap and plastic, so the packaging can be easily recycled.
There are two loops by the seal, so you can remove it from the left or right, and it peels off easily. You can then put your hand into the flexible ribbon loop and lift it up. You don’t need a large amount of movement to open it, which is key for people with limited mobility. The interior box also has a hinged opening rather than a lid that could require two hands to remove.
Yet another loop is integrated into the quick-start guide sitting under the controller. A user who can’t reach into the space under the controller and slide it out (another accessibility feature) can use the loop to remove it. Since the controller has grippy feet to hold it in place for gamers who might play on wheelchair trays or tables, the loop on the guide eliminates the possibility of the controller sticking to the paper tray under it. Microsoft also designed the box so there wasn’t too much noise when you slide the controller out.
An additional loop on the paper encircling the controller cables makes them easy to remove. The cables are not kept together by tape or plastic, and the sides of this packaging are open so you can also choose to shake the cables out. The quick start guide does not contain text, it’s just four simple steps.