A dad spent a weekend building a custom pad for the Xbox Adaptive Controller so his daughter could use it to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch.
Rory Steel, who is the head of Jersey Digital Academy, tweeted his progress as he created a custom rig attached to the controller that Microsoft designed to “meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility.”
His plan was to build a controller that made playing the Nintendo Switch accessible to his daughter, who Steel told Channel 103 has “fine motor neurone issues.”
He started with some electronic parts purchased from eBay and the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
He added a solid base for all the electronic parts that sits above the Xbox Adaptive Controller. That base holds two joysticks: one moving the playable character, the other moving the camera.
Controller success! Buttons tomorrow as I need a slightly larger drill bit than standard. Off the @BandQ then trials being in the morning. #accessibility @Nintendo #switch @Microsoft #adaptiveController pic.twitter.com/gxQPjZlP20— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 18, 2020
After getting more parts from a hardware shop, Steel added 16 buttons that go around the outside of the base, each with a different function.
That's enough for tonight. Some serious soldering and wire management tomorrow morning for some game testing in the afternoon. My daughter is desperate to try but we've kept it a secret from her brother who's been itching to play #ZeldaBreathoftheWild. @Nintendo @Microsoft pic.twitter.com/bgIC9h9aH3— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 18, 2020
After some “serious soldering and wire management,” Steel moved onto testing and then filmed his daughter’s reaction as she finally got to play Breath of the Wild.
Finished! Ava gives my homemade #accessibility controller V1.0 the thumbs up. She can play @Nintendo #BreathoftheWild on her #switch like her friends now. All thanks to @Microsoft #adaptiveController #XAC @brycej @ArranDyslexia @shanselman pic.twitter.com/dOhGnUFZa0— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 19, 2020
Steel’s weekend project has been noticed by head of Xbox Phil Spencer, who tweeted in response, “Incredible. And what a smile.”
He’s since been approached by Microsoft and Logitech, who want to help him build a higher-tech version 2.0 of his custom controller that could be used by other people with mobility impairments.
Steel told Channel 103 that he’s going to take the companies up on their offers, but adds “the project was always supposed to be something that anyone across the world could use. What I still want to do is a low-tech version, so people at home can have a go.”Twitter.