Microsoft is always working on new ways to help people with disabilities enjoy modern technologies. During the recent Surface event, the Software giant revealed Surface Adaptive Kit to make laptops, tablets, and other traditional devices more accessible. Now, a bunch of improvements is coming soon to Xbox consoles.
A couple of days ago, Microsoft detailed how Xbox would soon be able to filter games based on their accessibility features. Store listings will provide special accessibility feature tags to let gamers know which technologies a game supports.
The change will address the issue when gamers with disabilities need to conduct extensive research to learn whether a game supports certain assistive technologies. While many developers create their games with accessibility in mind, the information about supported technologies might not be available, even on official websites. Microsoft now wants to fix the problem by allowing publishers to provide potential customers with the information they need.
Tags in the Microsoft Store will include 20 accessibility features, such as the ability to remap input, narrated menus, customizable subtitles, single stick gameplay, etc. Microsoft says it plans to add more features based on feedback from gamers.
In addition to the Microsoft Store on Xbox consoles (Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S), Microsoft is also updating its storefronts on Xbox.com, the Xbox app on Windows, and Xbox Game Pass apps on mobile to showcase games with accessibility features.
As of now, the updated Microsoft Store with accessibility tags is available to members of Xbox Accessibility Insiders League. Microsoft wants to receive extended feedback from the participants before releasing accessibility tags to all users in the coming months. Besides tags, Microsoft will soon introduce additional features to make Xbox easier to use:
- Quick settings to toggle accessibility tools without turning off a game or app.
- Global color filters on Xbox consoles.
- Night Mode with adjustable filter.
- A free course for developers to teach them about accessibility fundamentals in modern games.
You can learn more about those changes in the Xbox Accessibility Showcase for October 2021 video on YouTube.
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