There’s been a lot of new developments happening in the world of gaming lately, and I thought it would be fun to do a bit of a roundup of the latest news. I also wanted to see if there was anything new that could potentially help people with disabilities – after all, technology is changing and improving all the time. Ready? Here we go!
First Off – E3
There’s been a lot of talk amongst some of my friends on Facebook who are massive game nuts, about E3, a massive trade show in Los Angeles demonstrating some of the biggest new developments in gaming, including new games, software and consoles.
One thing that I personally found really exciting was Microsoft’s announcement about a new controller for the XBox One, which is going to be big news for people with disabilities. The Elite controller allows you to swap where the buttons are and the sensitivity of the controls. It also allows you to control what sorts of thumb sticks or d-pads are used, as well as four new ‘bumper pad’ buttons that can be given different functions in line with what you as a gamer want or need to do. It is currently the only option for people who want or need to break out of the conventional controls in order to play games. Up until this point, people with disabilities will have had access to certain games on the XBox denied to them because of being unable to use certain buttons, or combinations of them. This development is great for people who might have physical disabilities that prevent them from using certain combinations of buttons on controllers because of restricted movement. This freedom to be able to adapt the controller yourself could open up gaming to a whole new group of people who previously had not been able to access it before. Good job Microsoft! I want one.
There was also another chance to see the development of Microsoft’s Hololens. The world’s first fully un-wired, holographic display that is also see-through! You can command the Hololens to ‘create’ things (such as worlds in Minecraft), make things bigger or smaller, zoom in or go inside different objects during gameplay.I’m very hopeful about the development of the Hololens. I watched an amazing video of a demonstration of this technology from the E3 event, where they used the game Minecraft as an example. I’ve never played Minecraft myself but I’m told by friends that it is a lot of fun – with the hololens it looks superb.
The other piece of news that I found really exciting from the gaming show was the news of a Final Fantasy VII remake! It’s going to be for the PlayStation 4 and the game is being revamped from the ground upwards. You may remember from a previous blog that I did, that Ablegamers gave it an award for being the most accessible game for people with disabilities because of the ability to adapt levels in the game and to change functions for each button on the controller before gameplay. We can only hope that the new version has the same fantastic accessibility features and inclusion for people with disabilities. As well as Final Fantasy simply being a brilliant gaming franchise, it’s exciting to know that there’s going to be a new version out. However, we may be waiting a while yet, as E3 only showed a tiny glimpse of the new CGI trailer so this implies that the developments are ongoing and gameplay is a while away. This doesn’t stop me being very excited though!
Next – Taking On Twitch!
YouTube is currently working on a new project called YouTube Gaming. Announced last Friday, the site plans to have all the same features as Twitch – gaming videos, streaming, video hosting – you name it, it’s said to have it. Videos will also be arranged by game, so that you can ‘subscribe’ to updates for a whole particular gaming franchise, such as League of Legends. Essentially a whole gaming library all in one place. As well as a website, there’s also going to be an App for your phone which should be great fun. Let’s just hope it’s accessible too, although I find YouTube pretty easy to use so hopefully no problems there.
Finally – The Official Final Oculus Rift!
Admittedly the piece of gaming news that I’m most excited about is the announcement of a consumer version of the Oculus Rift! Coming at some point in 2016, the headset is light enough to lift with a single hand, and the designers have made it look more attractive by using different types of lightweight plastic. They’ve also used different fabrics so that it is comfier to wear for a longer period of time – important if you\re planning a long night in front of the console! Additionally, the makers have made it so that you can wear it with glasses (great for people with visual disabilities that might need both for gameplay) and there’ll also be a pair of detachable headphones included as well. Ace!
The only small snag about this version is that it isn’t wireless – you need to drape a wire over your shoulder and Oculus also recommends that you enjoy virtual reality in all its glory – but sitting down. You also have to have a reasonably powerful gaming PC in order to be able to plug the cable in and use the equipment and software. Despite this though, having tried it in the Aidis office myself, the Oculus Rift really is a fantastic development and I hope it continues to become commercialised so that we can all save up for one!
That’s my roundup of the latest gaming news but there’s loads more from E3. Happy gaming everyone!
How do you access gaming? Tell us in the comments.
Trackback from your site.