Back in May Microsoft announced the Xbox Adaptive Controller for people with limited mobility. This is a truly incredible piece of hardware to empower those who cannot play games as well with a standard Xbox controller. Microsoft’s efforts to make gaming more accessible to everyone isn’t just stopping on the hardware front, though. Today the company revealed just how easy it is to open the box the controller comes in, ensuring that even its packaging is accessible.
Microsoft’s Packaging Design team took extra effort so that players would not need to deal with the usual box opening frustrations; getting out the scissors, ripping it apart with teeth, trying to rip the tape off, fiddling with twist ties.
“The product team was putting so much diligence into getting the controller right that to not have a package that was thoughtfully and mindfully designed for the end user would have felt like a real miss,” said Kevin Marshall, creative director of Microsoft’s Packaging Design Studio.
“With this product in particular, we felt a heightened responsibility. We wanted to create a package that was clearly designed with the end user in mind, and we wanted it to feel like it was just part of our ecosystem,” he said. “We wanted it to be empowering, but we didn’t want it to stand apart from any package we create.”
The company had several gamers with different accessibility needs test out the packaging to see what worked and what didn’t. In the end, these key features are what make the packaging so accessible:
- Both the single-shipper and retail package have been designed to “unfold” to reveal what’s inside with minimal friction. The shipper reveals the retail package, and the retail package reveals the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
- Discreet air cells integrated into the shipper packaging for protection for the product while maintaining a small footprint and clean design.
- Every major step of the unboxing incorporates loops, a feature that we heard resounding positive feedback on from beta testers. Loops are a highly proven lever to assist in accessibility. The leveraging of loops begins with the tear-strip on the single shipper, kicking off the out-of-box experience seamlessly. On the retail box, a specially designed ‘break-the-seal’ label (which keeps the box lid secured to the base) employs two loops, for multi-directional removal. A soft, grey loop initiates the opening experience, then there are integrated loops on both the paper Quick Start Guide (QSG) and cable folio. There are five loops on the XAC packaging from beginning to end.
- An open cavity area under the controller, enabling multiple ways to remove the controller from the box, including pulling via the loop or sliding it out directly.
- The box has a low center of gravity, grounding the unboxing experience and creating a sense of stability for the end-user. Additionally, the hinged lid provides a low-effort, single-pivot access into the package.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is up for pre-order on the Microsoft Store for $99.99. It it set to release this fall.