Logitech's new Adaptive Gaming Kit rounds out Microsoft's accessible gamepad
Evolve and adapt
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a lovely thing. Last year, Microsoft aimed to make gaming more accessible by providing a handy little rectangle with two huge buttons and dozens of slots for plugging in new input options. The idea was, you'd mix and match new input options to create a customised controller playable by anyone, regardless of physical requirements.
Finding those inputs, however, could be an expensive hassle. This week, Logitech aimed to make rounding out the XAC more affordable and accessible by releasing their own Adaptive Gaming Kit - an all-in-one set of 12 buttons and triggers of various sizes and sensitivities to plug into the Adaptive Controller.
While the Adaptive Controller does quite a good thing by existing, bodies are complicated. No single "accessible" controller is going to fill the needs of every disabled person, and the XAC was never really trying. Its two big frying pan buttons were always meant to be supplemented by numerous plug-ins - triggers, pedals, buttons and the like - provided by third parties.
Unfortunately, it sounds like adding to the big white rectangle was causing some confusion among customers. Logitech product manager Mark Starrett told Ars Technica that there wasn't really an easy option for picking up new gear.
"We talked to Microsoft retail—to people in the Microsoft Stores—and they kept telling us, 'We don't know what to recommend to people.' People buy an XAC, then ask, 'What [buttons] should go with this?' The guy at the store can't assess the needs. The caregiver doesn't know [from a gaming standpoint], either."
Logitech's G Adaptive Gaming Kit, then, is a hardware bundle containing a wealth of different input options. Included in the package are 6 buttons (3 large, 3 small), four light-touch buttons that require very little pressure, and two variable triggers. Those triggers are apparently quite a rarity elsewhere - Starrett claims that accessible controller solutions have generally had to rely on binary input. Not quite ideal for things like racing games.
The kit also includes plenty of loops, ties, labels and stickers for putting together a setup in whatever way works best. Like the XAC it plugs into, Logitech's AGK should work straight out of the box on a Windows 10 PC, with attached software that lets you rebind its buttons and triggers to anything you fancy.
The G Adaptive Gaming Kit can be picked up for £89/$99 over on Logitech's own store. That's a little more than the Xbox Adaptive Controller costs direct from Microsoft, which you'll need to get use out of Logitech's bundle.