Developers will find it easier to get their games evaluated for accessibility features by Microsoft when creating for Xbox and PC. Microsoft has announced and expansion to accessibility on Windows 10 and Xbox. According to the accessibility team, games will now be tested by players with disabilities during the evaluation process.
Microsoft points out the initiative will help games become more accessible to gamers with impairments. Specifically, developers can choose to have a title tested against Xbox Accessibility Guidelines (XAGs):
“Developers now have the option to send Microsoft their Xbox or PC title and have it analyzed and validated against the recommendations provided in the XAGs,” says an Xbox blog post.
Xbox Accessibility Guidelines is documentations that provides details on how developers can integrate inclusive access into their games. Microsoft says the XAGs have been updated with clearer language and more examples of implementation.
When a game is tested, Microsoft will issue a feedback report that includes details from gamers with disabilities. Furthermore, the Xbox team will add information about partner nonprofits, accessibility experts, and how to include more accessibility designs.
When a problem is found, Microsoft says the developer will receive “reproduction steps, screenshots, and other information to help the developer understand what aspect of a given experience may be challenging for certain gamers with disabilities.”
This program expands Microsoft’s commitment to accessibility on Xbox and PC Gaming through Windows 10. Previously, the company has added Game Chat Transcription to both platforms. The feature allows players to turn chat speech into text. This allows them to read in-game chats on their screen in real time.
Microsoft also has the Xbox Adaptive Controller. At its core, the Adaptive Controller is specifically for gamers with disabilities.
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