Travel back in time to the 1980s ind you’ll be almost certain to find a Galaga arcade machine in a local café, a Commodore 64 in an office or an Atari 2600 games console connected to the family room TV. However one thing you wouldn’t be able to find back then was a game controller that supported people with a mobility impairment. Fortunately, access to classic gaming has just changed with the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) receiving support in a version of the Recalbox retrogaming software platform.
While it may seem that the computers and games of yesteryear aren’t quite as popular these days, there is a strong retrogaming community with modern-day computers being able to emulate the hardware, and in turn the games, of the 1980s and 1990s with ease. One such platform that can turn a modern computer into a retrogaming powerhouse is Recalbox which can run on PC, Android and even the credit-card sized Raspberry PI line of computers. It provides support for 80 systems including names like Atari, Nintendo , Sega and Commodore.
In its most recent release, Recalbox 6.0 plug-and-play support was added for the XAC. As a result, people with a mobility impairment that use the XAC can now play games that had been inaccessible for decades.
In a statement, the Recalbox devevelopment team explained that:
“We have always steered Recalbox towards accessibility: financial accessibility (it’s a free, open-source solution for cheap hardware), technical accessibility (it’s a beginner-friendly, plug-and-play solution) and historical accessibility (it’s a wayback machine to forgotten software legacy).
A few months ago, we added human accessibility to our mission and we wanted to make Recalbox available to everyone.Everyone is indeed quite a wide scope, but there’s something we knew we could do that would allow disabled people to play more than 40k games on more than 80 gaming systems from the last decades.
So we did it, and we are so proud of it. In Recalbox 6.0 DragonBlaze, we added official, plug-and-play support for the recently released Xbox Adaptive Controller by Microsoft. We strongly believe it’s a huge leap towards disabled people integration and we really hope that, as we expect, it will bring people together.”
Recalbox 6.0 is available for free from the Recalbox website.