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Reggie Fils-Aimé reveals Nintendo had adaptive controller in development

The former head of Nintendo of America revealed that the company was developing an adaptive controller similar to the Xbox's, and it would've worked for all three consoles.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

August 16, 2022

2 Min Read
Headshot of former Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime.
Image via Brunswick Corporation company website.

According to Reggie Fils-Aimé, Nintendo was hard at work on creating an adaptive controller. In a recent interview with Inverse, the former Nintendo of America CEO disclosed that the product was in the works, and the publisher had some interesting ideas for it. 

Microsoft launched an Adaptive Controller for the Xbox One in 2018, made with the aim of being a more affordable and approachable controller to those with limited mobility. It featured a variety of customization options, reprogrammable buttons, and support for third-party accessories. 

While controllers for disabled players exist in some capacity for all three consoles, Microsoft is the only one to have a controller under the official Xbox brand. Nintendo's controller, in his words, would've been completely functional for the Xbox and PlayStation. "Imagine a controller you could play with your latest Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo platform," said Fils-Aimé. "That's what we were working on three years ago."

Since Fils-Aimé left three years ago in 2019, this controller would've been made for the Nintendo Switch (2017), and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (2013). Presumably, the controller would've worked with the latter consoles' upgraded models, the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One S | X. 

As enticing as that sounds, Fils-Aimé admits that he's not sure what came of the project, or if it's even still in development. But he hopes it'll see the light of day, particularly because of its touted feature of being a controller for all three major consoles. "My hope is that controller — and the ability for that controller to connect with all of the various systems — is launched and shared with consumers as quickly as possible.”

Fils-Aimé thinks that going forward, the industry must make better strides towards being accessible for players, particularly in regards to controllers. "I do believe the best solution is an industry solution that can work for all of the dedicated gaming platforms and for PC, and can truly be tailored to the player depending on their physical capabilities and what they can do.”

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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