PlayStation Reveals Deep Dive into its New Access Controller

Following its first reveal at CES 2023, PlayStation has released a deep dive look into its new Access controller, formally known as Project Leonardo.

In celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, PlayStation officially announces its Access controller for PlayStation 5 consoles. The controller is said to be a highly customizable controller, focused on accessibility. Designed to better enable players with disabilities to play their favourite games, the Access controller is built for comfort and can be tailored to the needs of the individual.

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In a PlayStation Blog post, Hideaki Nishino, Senior Vice President of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s platform experience writes, “Developed in collaboration with accessibility experts, the Access controller will include a wide array of swappable button and stick caps so players can freely create different layouts that work for their unique strength, range of motion, and physical needs.”

The company reveals that each Access controller ships with the following:

  • Analog stick caps (standard, dome and ball stick cap)
  • Button caps in different shapes and sizes, including:
    • Pillow button caps
    • Flat button caps
    • Wide flat button cap (which covers two button sockets)
    • Overhang button caps (which benefit players with smaller hands as they are positioned closer to the center)
    • Curve button caps (which can be pushed if placed along the top or pulled if placed along the bottom of the controller)
  • Swappable button cap tags for players to easily mark which inputs they map to each button

It’s also said that the Access controller can be used on flat surfaces or orient it 360 degrees or secure it to an AMPS mount or tripod. The controller’s analog stick can also be adjusted to be more comfortable for the user.

PlayStation also confirms that the Access controller includes a 3.5mm AUX port to connect headphones to. Players can also integrate specialty switches, buttons, or analog sticks into the Access controller as well.

On top of a deeper look at the hardware itself, PlayStation reveals a look at the UI players can expect when customizing the Access controller. For instance, players can select their preferred orientation for the Access controller. The UI also enables players to map inputs, toggle buttons on or off, and even map two different inputs to the same button. Custom profiles can also be saved to the Access controller so players can have a different layout from their favourite racing game and action-adventure title.

As announced earlier this year at CES, up to two Access controllers and one DualSense controller can be used together as a single virtual controller. This enables players to tailor their experience with whatever devices they wish or play with others collaboratively in a game. Taking a cue from DualSense Edge, the Access controller also allows players to fine-tune the deadzone for the analog sticks and sensitivity.

Toggle mode is a new feature built for the Access controller. Players can adjust the varying buttons on the controller to have a second function. The company compares it to the caps lock function on a keyboard. For instance, a player can toggle the acceleration of a vehicle to be a click of a button rather than holding it down. This can be attributed to many other instances.

As of the time of writing, PlayStation has not revealed when the Access controller will be available or its pricing in Canada. Yesterday, the company announced its long-awaited PlayStation Showcase will air on May 24th. It’s possible more information may surface from the event.