Merry Christmas from OneSwitch and Happy 2016

Microsoft are Listening...

The Ease of Access Xbox One forums are a new space for people to make requests (and vote up existing requests) for better Xbox One access. I've popped one up for Promote Very Broad Difficulty Adjustment in Games.

This is a request backed by the IGDA GASIG Top 10 (number 7), the Game Accessibility Guidelines, scattered through AbleGamer's Includification and the SpecialEffect wish list for Accessible Game Design.

I've been quite rude about Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and Apple in the past for having a head-in-the-sand attitude to game accessibility. This year both Microsoft and Sony have had their arms twisted (by the CVAA) and have delivered some positive access boosts to their latest consoles. Apple have been doing some great stuff too. I get the impression that Microsoft quite liked the positive boost that comes from doing the right thing for their broad audience. It remains to be seen if they push any harder. I really hope they do, as there's a long way left to go.

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The Advent of Prestel (1979)

Prestel: What the internet was like for (rich) people in the UK in 1979 thanks to the GPO / British Telecom. Love the Teletext style graphics. Remember my uncle was going to sell these as a new career. The Usborne Book of the Future was becoming a reality in front of my eyes. We never got a Prestel set-up though. Hugely expensive.

More at the BBC and Found via Dan Farrimond.

Prestel graphics: Blue pixelated space man on an orange background. Copyright 1979.


Opening Ceremony | 8th ASEAN Para Games 2015

The fantastic opening ceremony at the 8th Asean Para Games being held in Singapore right now featured giant Skoog's and Soundbeams!

You can follow the games on YouTube. Found via Skoog's Twitter feed.


Image of a hand holding a green one handed controller that looks a bit like a Japanese robot.

7 buttons on view, with 2 buttons hidden.

The Gundam Online Zaku controller is a USB PC compatible one handed device. It has nine buttons and an analogue thumb stick that can be easily reconfigured using JoyToKey.

It can be used on game consoles via a Titan One adapter through a Windows PC. Hunt for it on-line using "用ザクコントロラ" and use JAA to import one to your country if outside of Japan.

Images via various Japanese sites (1, 2, 3). Added to the One Switch Accessible Gaming Shop.

Funky japanese graphics with a robot, and lots of Kanji writing and a green controller.

Funky japanese graphics with a robot, and lots of Kanji writing and a green controller.

Rear view of a green Zaku controller.

Somthing like SUGRU used to improve the comfort of using a one handed video game controller.

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Find It Yourself / D.I.Y. One Handed Controllers (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One)

One Handed Controllers: A HORI Super Robot Wars silver controller and DragonPlus like One Handed Controller.

PS2 to Xbox 360 adapter, Lindy Mini USB cable and XIM4 adapter.

It's hard to keep up with the demand for One Handed Controllers, whilst trying to develop other things. Here's my recommendations for getting some off the shelf solutions for Playstation, Xbox and PC.

1. The HORI SRWC (Super Robot Wars Controller) is a very well made Playstation 2 controller. The D-pad is positioned for a left-handed thumb which might be a problem for some. SRWCs are fairly easy to track down on Yahoo Japan and Google (search for "スーパーロボット大戦コントローラ"), translate Japanese web-sites using Google Translate and use and JAA to purchase and export the items. You may have to pay import fees on top, so prepare for this in your costings. It should be easy to get a HORI SRWC for well under £100 in this way.

2. The DragonPlus RPG cloned "One Handed Controller" for PS2 (pictured top right) is readily available on eBay from the UK. If living outside the UK, use advanced search terms to search internationally. Go for the cheapest one you can find that is brand new (often around £80). These have d-pads for left and right handed thumbs. The build-quality is not as good as the HORI but these are still good controllers.

3. For both of the above Playstation 2 controllers you will need adapters to get them working on a PC or more modern game console. Firstly, you'll need to convert these Playstation 2 controllers to USB. I recommend picking up a "PS2 to Xbox 360" adapter from China on eBay (above left). This is a good adapter, with a little menu button on the case.

Use on a PS3, Xbox 360 or Xbox One can be achieved in a wide variety of ways. Simplest (but the most expensive) is using a XIM4 adapter from eBay with a micro USB link-up cable (if you have a PS4 you will this USB cable already). The XIM4 allows you to use the original controller (connected into port 3 using the link-up cable) and the One Handed Controller in port 2.

Alternatively, if you are happy to use a Windows PC as the brains of your controller linked to a console, then the Titan One offers huge possibilities for realtively easy reconfiguration of controls. You can optionally add in free software utilities such as JoyToKey and VAC Voice Activated Commands do all kinds of really powerful things to make play easier. Latching, auto-fire and speech controls all can be added with some patience and learning.

For people with very good soldering-iron and craft skills, Ben Heck below gives some fine advice on how to build your own controllers, often without the need for adapters.

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