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PS5 Access controller: price, preorder and release date
Here's everything you need to know about the PS5 Access controller
The latest PlayStation hardware to come out of Sony HQ is the PS5 Access controller, a peripheral designed to remove the physical barriers of gaming and help those with disabilities more easily and comfortably play the console.
Announced during CES 2023, Sony said the Access controller, codenamed Project Leonardo at the time, had been “built to address common challenges faced by many players with limited motor control, including difficulty holding a controller for long periods, accurately pressing small clusters of buttons or triggers, or positioning thumbs and fingers optimally on a standard controller”.
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The controller kit wraps all the gubbins of the standard PS5 controller in a highly configurable new casing, with plenty of customization options to adapt it to your needs. It works in tandem with other third-party accessibility accessories and, if all goes well, should bring the best PS5 games to an even bigger audience. Hopefully, Sony’s flagship system will be more accessible than ever.
If you’ve ever struggled to use Sony’s DualSense controller due to a disability, it’s likely Project Leonardo will be one of the best PS5 accessories you can buy when it releases.
PS5 Access controller release date 📆
PS5 Access controller price 💰
The PS5 Access controller price is a little steeper than the standard DualSense controller at $89.99. Microsoft’s rival Adaptive Controller retails for $99.99 and while Sony’s hardware usually goes for a little more, we were expecting a similar price tag here. It’s pleasing to see Sony isn’t charging too much for the PS5 Access controller, as the last thing you want to do is price out the people who could benefit most from the controller.
PS5 Access controller preorder date 🔜
The PS5 Access controller preorder date began on Friday, July 21 at 10 am local time for players in the US, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Austria and Portugal. As we’ve come to expect from Sony hardware launches, you can pick up the PS5 Access controller from the PlayStation Direct store, but thankfully you can also preorder it from other retailers like GameStop.
PS5 Access controller customization 👐
At the top of the list of the PS5 Access controller’s accessibility features is its configuration. The controller’s single analog stick can be swapped out for those of different heights and textures, and its buttons changed for a variety of shapes and sizes. The idea is for players to mold the gamepad to their liking and physical requirements.
“Players can use these components to craft a wide array of control layouts,” Sony says, “And the distance of the analog stick from the gamepad can be adjusted to suit the player’s preference. These components allow players to find a configuration that works for their strength, range of motion, and particular physical needs.”
More common customization features will also be available, including the option to remap buttons. Multiple buttons can be mapped to the same input, or multiple inputs mapped to the same button for those players who may struggle to press several at once. Settings can be stored in up to three control profiles, too, which can be switched between on the fly.
PS5 Access controller design 🎨
Like the Xbox Adaptive Controller before it, Sony’s PS5 Access controller sits flat, meaning players can rest it on a table or wheelchair tray. It can also be secured to AMPS mounts or tripods and oriented 360 degrees for the most comfortable use.
Most noticeable is the controller’s split design. Each PS5 Access controller has only one analog stick, allowing you to position the thumbsticks of two controllers as close together or as far apart as you find comfortable. Ergonomically, that’s fantastic but does likely mean you’ll have to shell out on two controllers to play most games. We’re hoping Sony will price the gamepads with that not-so-small caveat in mind.
“Our team tested over a dozen designs with accessibility experts, looking for approaches that would help address key challenges to effective controller use,” said Sony designer So Morimoto. “We finally settled on a ‘split controller’ design that allows near free-form left/right thumbstick repositionability, can be used without needing to be held, and features very flexible button and stick cap swapping.”
PS5 Access controller compatibility ✅
Although the PS5 Access controller is pitched as an out-of-the-box PS5 accessibility gamepad, it’s been designed to pair with additional Access controllers and the PS5’s standard DualSense controller. You’ll be able to use up to two PS5 Access gamepads alongside one DualSense, which Sony hopes will allow “players to mix and match devices to fit their particular gameplay needs, or to play collaboratively with others”.
It’s particularly useful for those players who need some assistance gaming. You can happily use a PS5 Access controller or two to play while a chum sits next to you with a DualSense, ready to take control of your character if you get stuck.
Additionally, four 3.5mm ports will let you connect third-party, specialty switches or accessibility accessories for even greater configurability. They can be remapped just like any other button.
Updated: July 14, 2023