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Xbox Adaptive Controller Christmas ad furthers Microsoft's push for accessibility

Platform holder creates short film to highlight new device during crucial sales period

Thanks to John Lewis et al, heartwarming Christmas adverts are all the rage - to the point where even electronics conglomerate Microsoft is getting in on the action.

The company has produced a short film that highlights the Xbox Adaptive Controller, as well as pushing its strategy to promote accessibility in games with a new slogan: 'When everybody plays, we all win'.

The Adaptive Controller is a device with a variety of different customisable inputs that enables people with almost any disability to enjoy Xbox games. It was unveiled to widespread acclaim earlier this year and released in September.

While it doesn't actually appear much in the ad itself, the short film's narrative - which focuses on wheelchair-bound nine-year-old Owen - puts the controller, and accessibility, at the heart of its message.

The ad arrives at a time where accessibility is increasingly becoming a talking point in video games. Case in point, Activision came under fire earlier this week for not including subtitles in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy - thus limiting the experience for deaf players.

We spoke to Microsoft's gaming and disability community lead Tara Voelker earlier this year about why the platform holder is ramping up efforts to improve accessibility in games.

We also invited industry charity SpecialEffect onto The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast to talk about their work on helping to develop the controller, and ways in which developers can adapt their own titles to suit a broader range of playing ability.

You can watch the Microsoft ad for yourself below:

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By James Batchelor

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