Microsoft Files Patent for Xbox Braille Controller

Microsoft has filed a patent for a Xbox One controller with a braille accessory on the back that would make it possible for those who are low vision or blind to enjoy gaming. The patent (shown below) appears to show a normal Xbox One controller with a device that hooks onto the back that can display in-game text and dialogue in braille via a touch-pad on the back. .The device is equipped with six paddles, (three on either side of the touch pad), this allows players to be able to read and react to things happening inside the game at the same time. The device also appears to have speech to braille capabilities which could prove useful when you receive messages from other players.

As someone who is going blind I’m ecstatic about this. I tend to spend a lot of my free time gaming which has become harder and harder to do as my sight goes. So hearing that there will be an easy way to at least play simpler, text based games makes me genuinely happy. There is the question of how many developers will support the controller and which games it will end up working with, as well as if it will only work with more text based games like the turn-based Final Fantasy games, or if it will work with faster paced games like first person shooters or fighting games.

Of course this is all just speculation since it’s only a patent, but it seems likely given Microsoft’s continued dedication to their accessibility controller they released last year.