Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and Microsoft and Xbox are highlighting their efforts to improve accessibility on their platforms.
Making games more accessible can be a challenging prospect for game developers, especially if they don’t have experience in this particular area of game design. Still, things have been improving in recent years such as with the accessibility options in the new God of War game and the upcoming horror game The Quarry. Microsoft, in particular, has made a serious effort to do what it can to help in this space — and the results from the last year have been pretty impressive.
How Xbox is Embracing Accessibility
Microsoft has racked up a seriously impressive list of accessibility improvements in its games and the Xbox ecosystem over the last year, including new features on its flagship Xbox Series X|S console.
One of the more interesting examples from earlier this year is the addition of Americal Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) to Forza Horizon 5. That’s not the only venture that’s been made into supporting sign language, mind; it launched the new XboxASL Twitch channel that features an American Sign Langauge translation in the corner of the screen.
Microsoft’s efforts have expanded to other games, too. Minecraft: Education Edition recently released a new map for teachers that will help teach children about accessibility and related concepts in an interactive play space.
The Xbox console itself has seen improvements, too. Late last year, Microsoft made it easier to discover games supporting accessibility features within its store.
With these changes, Microsoft may very well be at the forefront of providing accessibility features for its gamers. That’s not the only feather in its cap, mind — Xbox managed to outsell PlayStation in Japan last week for the first time in nearly a decade. You can read about everything Microsoft is doing to improve accessibility in today’s news post.