As more and more video game companies strive to add accessibility features to their games and hardware, Sony Interactive Entertainment is testing a controller attachment that could help visually impaired players through tactile feedback and a braille system.
The patent, which was first filed last year but recently discovered by ResetEra user anexanhume, shows a rectangular pad attachment that is described as follows:
The portable device comprises a communication interface (not shown) operable to receive text information. The text information may be received from an information processing apparatus. In some examples, the text information may be received from a games controller that is in communication with the information processing apparatus and to which the portable device is connected, the games controller acting as receiver and relay. The text information may be generated as a result of the information processing apparatus executing a game program. As described previously, the text information may correspond to e.g. system menus, in-game menus, in-game text, etc.
The patent further states that the pad will give players tactile feedback via protrusions and vibrations. In some cases, in-game text may generate a braille on the pad. Using the example of the Huldra Shop in God of War, Sony argues that text-to-speech and zooming features are inadequate for visually impaired players and that the portable pad will be able to generate tactile version of not just text but also “symbols such as runes, arrows, game-specific shapes etc.”
Not all patents come to fruition but we’ll be surprised if Sony doesn’t release a controller with advanced accessibility features. Microsoft has already released its own adaptive controller, which was well-received by the gaming community.