Not every gamer in the world can utilize the commonplace controller/gamepad, but Sony is determined to change up the concept. In comes Project Leonardo, a new approach to physical video gaming where accessibility is at the forefront. Sony aims to break down barriers with the new controller kit, equipped with customizable buttons and analog stick caps. Players with accessibility issues will also be able to map out their buttons and profiles, much like your usual gamepad. In addition to the announcement, Project Leonardo is accompanied by a “Perspectives from Accessibility Experts” video, allowing open commentary to be expressed on Sony’s newest creation.
Gamers with Disabilities Can Customize The Layout of Project Leonardo
Initially announced during CES, the official information for Project Leonardo was shared on the PlayStation Blog. It’s openly addressed that Project Leonardo is for gamers that require extra accessibility, be it for comfort, for longer gaming periods, or general preferences. The Blog showcases the controller kit in several photos, highlighting the different buttons and caps players can select from. This includes personal combinations that ultimately work for the player who assembles their Leonardo layout.
The announcement of Project Leonardo also came with a compilation video. Here, a diverse group of individuals conveys their reactions to the controller kit. Members from organizations such as AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, Stack Up, and various accessibility consultants share their views in the footage.
“The controller that PlayStation’s developed offers the flexibility for the person to figure out how they would like to pay and how best suits them during that stage in their life,” said Andy Wu, Senior Director of Peer Counseling at The AbleGamers Charity.
“I was able to finally incorporate my left hand back into gaming, which is something that I hadn’t done really successfully since childhood,” commented Sam Schaffel, Accessibility Design Researcher at Insomniac Games.
Project Leonardo is currently in development by Sony for the PlayStation 5. Sony will continue to receive feedback from the community as the controller kit evolves throughout 2023. For more information on Project Leonardo and its capabilities, be sure to visit the previously mentioned PlayStation Blog.