PlayStation -in partnership with accessibility experts like AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, and StackUp- has announced a new peripheral today at CES 2023. This is Project Leonardo, the brand's next step in a journey to make gaming more accessible. It's a customizable controller kit that works "out of the box" to help players with disabilities.
You can watch a video introducing Project Leonardo below:
The controller was designed to work in tandem with many third-party accessibility accessories. As you might expect, the device also integrates with the PlayStation 5 console to open up new games in gaming. At least, that's what the PlayStation Blog states. Here's a brief description of the peripheral's features:
Hardware customizations. Project Leonardo for PS5 is a canvas for gamers to craft their own play experience. It includes a robust kit of swappable components, including a variety of analog stick caps and buttons in different shapes and sizes.
Players can use these components to craft a wide array of control layouts. And the distance of the analog stick from the game pad can be adjusted to suit the player’s preference. These components allow players to find a configuration that works for their strength, range of motion, and particular physical needs.
Software customizations. On the PS5 console players have an array of options to tailor their Project Leonardo play experience:
- Button mapping
- The controller’s buttons can be programmed to any supported function and multiple buttons can be mapped to the same function. Conversely, players can map two functions (like “R2” + “L2”) onto the same button.
- Control profiles
- Players can store their programmed button settings as control profiles and easily switch between them by pressing the profile button.
- Up to three control profiles can be stored and accessed by the player from their PS5 console at any time.
As stated before, Project Leonardo can be used with another similar device or in conjunction with the PlayStation Dualsense controller. Up to two Project Leonardo controllers and one DualSense wireless controller can be used together as a single virtual controller, allowing players to mix and match devices to fit their particular gameplay needs.
Project Leonardo is expandable through four 3.5mm AUX ports to support a variety of external switches and third-party accessibility accessories. This enables users to integrate specialty switches, buttons, or analog sticks with the Project Leonardo controller. The external accessories can be dynamically connected or disconnected, and each can be configured to act like any other button. Project Leonardo is currently in development.