This Sony PlayStation patent shows a new way to make games more accessible

A new patent from Sony Interactive Entertainment reveals a
detachable controller pad that would make games more comfortable to play for
people who are blind or have low vision.

The device, as outlined within the patent, seems like a
rectangle with rounded edges (and sometimes a button, counting on which
illustration you are looking at). It’s designed to either be fitted over or
replace the DualShock 4 controller’s standard touchpad entirely, with some key
additions. They include a series of haptic feedback mechanisms, like localized
rumble and pins that push up a versatile layer to offer players tactile
feedback from the sport. Though all the illustrations use a DualShock 4, the patent
confirms it could even be used with PS5.

The primary example cited within the patent is that the
Huldra Shop screen from God of War. With its small text scattered across
multiple windows, it might not be straightforward to parse with standard
accessibility tools like an in-game magnifier. The very fact that the shop is a
component of the sports world with its dialogue also interferes with automated
text-to-speech solutions, causing players to miss out on incidental dialogue or
need to sit through repeated readings of equivalent information.

The detachable pad could output braille versions of the
on-screen information, even including its little control input, to advance
through text. It could also create tactile versions of in-game symbols and even
animate them; for instance, a series of arrows moving upward across the pad
could indicate that a bit of drug will improve your stats. The pad would still
support touch feedback, so you’ll use it to form choices also as reading
through them.

Though the tactile pad would usually be fitted over or in
situ of the touchpad, the patent also confirms that it might be mounted to
different areas of the controller to support comfortably reading text with
fingers instead of thumbs. All that said, as is common for patents, this is
often not a confirmation that Sony will ever actually make a product resembling
this particular invention.

With the Xbox Adaptive Controller already helping to form games more accessible, it would be rad if this became a neighborhood of focus as we move to next-gen consoles.

All you need to know about the new PS5