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Logitech's $ 100 Adaptive Gaming Kit Completes What Xbox Launched XAC

  The four button types included in the Logitech Adaptive Gaming Kit with 12 buttons, along with one of its two
Enlarge / The four button types included in the 12-button Logitech Adaptive Gaming Kit, along with one of its two hooks and contour boards

Last year's Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) announced a new era of game accessibility, but not necessarily in a categorical way. What is a specially designed Microsoft controller board with options and openness, especially for gamers who can't use standard gamepads, the device has lost its clarity.

The $ 99 XAC is only available with two useful buttons for standard PCs and console games, and Microsoft said it was designed so that special-needs gamers could attach preferred buttons and control options to an array of 1

9 plug. This was great news for anyone familiar with the wild world of accessible games or who already had additional button attachments. But problems arose, accessory maker Logitech told Ars Technica when the good press and popularity of XAC drew new, confused people to the pen and official Microsoft stores to boot.

"We talked to Microsoft retailers – with people at Microsoft stores – and they kept telling us, 'We don't know what to recommend to people,'" Logitech product manager Mark Start tells Ars Technica. "People buy XAC after they ask, "What [buttons] has to go with this?" The store man cannot assess needs. The educator also does not know [from a gaming standpoint]. "

Turning a" variable "into a constant

That's changing this week with the Logitech Adaptive Gaming Kit, which is a $ 99 package that begins to answer this basic question about the estimated "80%" of Logitech's "80%" gamers. Logitech offered Ars Technica pre-package information before sending us a set of samples, so we couldn't talk about its build quality or whether it was a worthwhile purchase.

However, based on my post-XAC tests and research, I am already forced to applaud Logitech's launch, at least in terms of apparent value and usability.

The essence of the Adaptive Gaming Kit is a set of 12 discrete buttons that connect via 3.5mm XAC ports. It's easier to analyze them as a list:

  • Three 2.6 "diameter round buttons
  • Three 1.4" diameter round buttons
  • Four light touch buttons
  • Two "variables" triggers [19659016] Most XAC launch articles include pictures of these button types, the idea being for users with different disabilities or needs to buy each one a la carte to add more functionality beyond the XAC and the default Xbox One controller. But it doesn't take long to reach the $ 99 spending threshold with 3-4 buttons, which barely covers the full features of the standard game. At one price level, Logitech did the right thing. Target XAC users probably won't need less than four discrete buttons, so you save money compared to the rest of the battle by going with the Logitech kit.

    On top of all, Logitech includes two hook and loop boards and the corresponding connecting cables in this package. XAC users will probably want to mount additional buttons on these types of boards so that they can remain more stable while being close to some choice of control body: leg, fingerless, even head. And they are the perfect free bonus for a set that is already reasonably priced.

    To accomplish all this, the included "variable" actuators play great with the XAC's pair of analog 3.5mm ports. Most 3.5mm controller accessories only offer a binary on / off function. That's good for most controller features, but not one that Logitech has identified as a popular genre for special needs gamers: racing.

    "If you look at the market [special needs] … I was not able to successfully find a good variable trigger change," says Staret. "If you wanted to use gas and brake through Forza there was no such thing solution. Just binary numeric buttons. So we include two of these in the kit. I'm a competitor and so many people we met. They want to play these games and fight this insanely 100% gas. "

    From 200 Joysticks to $ 99

    Logitech says this project started on the side when Microsoft started asking for joysticks on loans a few years ago to test a secret project. (Starrett says they gave more of 200 joysticks for this purpose before they figure out what an XAC really is.) Logitech's design team attached the form, connectivity protocols and started XAC plans before launching it, but the team didn't realize how many steps have remained open to potential buyers with respect to additional buttons until oh do not start.

    "There will be blind read the positions of [the Xbox team] but they do not make many peripherals traditionally," said an elder. "They make their controllers and consoles. I do not want to engage in peripheral activity at this level, I do not think. In the meantime, we are many experts in this field. We did a lot of things with Microsoft, "I've been supporting their platforms for years. It was a natural thing [to team up on an adaptive controller bundle]. Perhaps they would have gone and done it themselves if we had not said, 'We will do this and work with you.' "[19659004] Therefore, Microsoft handed Logitech its Rolodex for game researchers and experts. special needs, including British non-profit Special Effect, Rehabilitation Center at Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Bryce Johnson's XAC Engineering Management. to get the package price up to $ 99 th package is already being sold in logitechg.com in most US stores on Microsoft Store; will come in European stores on Microsoft "if the first day, then soon thereafter."

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