Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller was nearly cut from production, but teams across the company fought for it to make it to market, saving it from the chopping block.
The Adaptive Controller was born out of an internal Microsoft hackathon, and employees at the company continued to develop the idea over several prototypes. Manufacturing employees in China, design employees in Redmond, Virginia, and the xbox team itself banded together to make the controller a reality, even as Microsoft leadership planned to cut funding for the product.
"There was a point in time when the Xbox controller that was designed for accessibility was on the cut list," Microsoft corporate vice president of Windows and devices Robin Seiler told The Verge in an interview Wednesday.
"Across teams, Xbox and Surface, we said, 'No this is actually important for the world. This isn't about revenue or brand positioning; it's just important for people to be able to play games if they want to,'" Seiler continued.
The Adaptive Controller has since made gaming possible for thousands of disabled players, empowered the modding community, and pushed other controller manufacturers to step up their adaptive offerings. It signaled what Microsoft employees describe as a cultural shift in the company's priorities, pushing inclusivity to the forefront of the business.
The Adaptive line continues to grow, as Microsoft announced an Adaptive Mouse and Adaptive Keyboard in development earlier this.