Gaming is for everyone. That has been the mindset for Xbox these last handful of years. And in a recent announcement, the popular gaming platform has added accessibility tags to their game storefront.
Already available to Xbox Accessibility Insiders, the Microsoft store is introducing an accessibility level to games. This will detail information like input mapping, subtitles, menu narration, and more. In total, there are 20 aspects that a game can be tagged with.
Games cant simply be granted these tags by the publishers, either. Certain criteria need to be met before the appropriate tags are allowed. One example given by Xbox was that the Subtitles tag requires the option to resize [the subtitles] up to 200%.
Finding games that those with disabilities can play has been a long-time frustration for countless folks, one that able-bodied gamers often dont consider. Those with limited mobility, for example, may need the option to remap controls to accommodate special controllers designed to be operated with one hand, feet, or with a limited movement range. Far too often, disabled users are not told if a game supports options like this beforehand, leaving them to risk the purchase, or wait until someone else can report that information.
Introducing these tags is a great way for Xbox to follow their Gaming is for everyone mindset in a purely helpful way.
They didnt just stop there, either. Xbox also announced a new free gaming accessibility course for developers. The class would cover fundamental aspects of accessibility when developing games for the modern age. Available late October, itll be located on the Microsoft Learn website.
Accessibility in gaming is a topic that I, personally, hold very dear. Everyone should be able to enjoy video games. Unfortunately, its been an often disregarded concern for countless developers and studios. It makes me tremendously happy to see Microsoft/Xbox put so much effort in improving the atmosphere for folks with disabilities.