The world of adaptive controllers can often feel expensive and overly complicated for a player with disabilities. Paying $100-plus for a base controller and then an extra $80-plus for extensions that you aren’t sure will work for you feels intimidating and, at the end of the day, like a significant investment for something that may not provide the ideal experience. However, adaptive, ergonomically designed, and affordable equipment is a hole in the market that Sony is now attempting to fill with the Access controller. After using it for a week in my own setup and with a variety of games, it is a significant first step towards an accessible controller for the PS5 and something that the industry can learn from.

What sets the Access controller apart is the ability to easily customize it right out of the box. Where many other adaptive controllers require you to purchase outside equipment, this one has a base setup of 8 pillow cap plates, a touchpad in the middle, and an adjustable joystick. You can change these button plates with a simple press and pull, as each plate is magnetic and snaps on. The kit also comes with three joystick caps you can easily change. This allows for independent setup and movement, and the size and shape of the controller also save desk space and lessen the cognitive load caused by having buttons and switches spread out on your setup. Still, if you use buttons and switches, there are four expansion ports on the controller for them, and if you already have the Xbox Adaptive kit, your switches will also work with the Access controller. The controller is also mountable anywhere, so you don’t have to hold it.

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The versatility and ease-of-use of the Access controller is reflected very well in the PlayStation 5. The tutorial for setup is highly detailed and easy to go through. Up to 30 profiles can be created to store different control schemes. You can position the controller in any way that’s comfortable for you and map your buttons, and there are labels included for you to pin on your buttons.

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