Microsoft first unveiled its new Xbox Adaptive Controller back in May. Designed for gamers with disabilities, the controller has two large programmable buttons and 19 jacks that can be connected to a range of accessories to make Xbox and PC gaming far more accessible for a range of players. Microsoft has clearly focused on accessibility for the controller, but it’s also revealing this week that it has taken a unique approach to the packaging for the product.
People spend hours watching gadget unboxings on YouTube, but you rarely see a box that’s designed to be opened as easy as possible. That’s a design consideration that Microsoft has taken to heart for its new Xbox Adaptive Controller packaging. “A lot of these limited mobility gamers are actually used to opening packages with their teeth,” explains Mark Weiser, a packaging designer at Microsoft. The Xbox Adaptive Controller packaging can be opened a variety of ways, and it’s now even easier with or without the use of teeth.
The packaging contains loops, hinges, levers, and ribbons
Microsoft has created packaging that includes loops, multiple access points, hinges, levers, and ribbons to make it as easy as possible to unbox this new controller. Even the outside of the packaging that the main box will ship in has a loop that can be peeled away to reveal the main box. The main box includes a ribbon that can be pulled to activate a flap that lays flat to cushion the controller once a user pulls on the loop to remove it from the box. It’s a fascinating mechanism that shows the level of thought and detail that went into designing this.
There are no annoying twist ties, difficult-to-remove plastics, or other hindrances to getting the Xbox controller out of the box as fast as possible. Microsoft has been testing the design over the past year with a range gamers with disabilities to ensure the company got the right mix of accessibility. While the target market for the new Xbox Adaptive Controller might have a family member or a carer to help unbox items, it’s obviously a lot more rewarding if people are able to do it unassisted. “We wanted to deliver an empowering unboxing experience,” says Weiser. Microsoft is launching its $99.99 Xbox Adaptive Controller in September.
Update, July 25th 11:20AM: Article updated to clarify Microsoft’s design considerations.