Sony announce highly customisable accessible controller for disabled gamers

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Sony has announced a new accessible controller for the PS5 called Project Leonardo (Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Sony has announced a new accessible controller for the PS5 called Project Leonardo (Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Sony has revealed Project Leonardo – a new accessible controller for the PS5 designed to help disabled players “play more easily, more comfortably and for longer periods”.

The company appears to be on a bit of an accessibility drive at the moment, after adding the most comprehensive suites of accessibility features to its latest PS5 hits including God of War: Ragnarock, Horizon: Forbidden West, and The Last of Us Part 1, the next logical step was to make a controller that enables even more people to comfortably play on their systems.

The new customisable controller, designed to be laid flat or mounted so it doesn’t need to be held, was developed with help from accessibility experts, disabled players, and game developers to work right out of the box.

The controller is designed to address challenges faced by players with limited motor control, those that find it difficult to hold a controller for a long time, pressing small buttons and triggers, or using the thumb sticks on a standard PS5 pad.

The new kit features a selection of buttons and analogue sticks in different shapes and sizes which can all be swapped out and adjusted to fit the owner's particular needs and preferences. This includes the distance of the buttons to the analogue sticks as well as their size. These can also be mapped to any function of a standard controller (including multiple button presses), which can then be saved on the PS5.

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Project Leonardo can be used by itself, or with a second Leonardo controller, a standard PS5 controller, and a slew of existing third-party accessibility devices via the pad's four 3.5mm AUX ports, or any combination of the above.

Sony announce highly customisable accessible controller for disabled gamersProject Leonardo can be used in conjunction with a normal pad or another Leonardo unit (Sony Interactive Entertainment)

For example, one player could use a DualSense pad to move Kratos while another uses the Project Leonardo controller to chop Thor down to size with the Leviathan Axe. Project Leonardo designer So Morimoto said the team had tested more than a dozen different prototypes with accessibility experts before they finally settled on its current design

"We finally settled on a ‘split controller’ design that allows for near free form left and right thumbstick repositioning, can be used without needing to be held, and features very flexible button and stick cap swapping," Said Morimoto via the

“Because players can customize Project Leonardo according to their needs, there is no one ‘right’ form factor. We want to empower them to create their own configurations. The controller can also flexibly accept combinations of accessibility accessories to create a unique aesthetic. I am excited that the design will be completed through collaboration with players rather than presenting them with a single form factor.”

A release date or price has yet to be announced for the controller. More information on Project Leonardo is available on the .

Gareth Newnham

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