PlayStation — in partnership with accessibility experts like AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, and StackUp — announced a new peripheral today at CES 2023. This is Project Leonardo, the brand’s next step on a journey to make gaming more accessible. It’s a set of customizable controls that work “out of the box” to help players with disabilities.
You can watch a video introducing Leonardo’s project below:
The console is designed to work in conjunction with many third-party accessibility extensions. As you might expect, the device also integrates with the PlayStation 5 console to unlock new games in the games. At least, that’s what the PlayStation Blog states. Here is a brief description of peripheral features:
Hardware customizations. Project Leonardo for PS5 is a canvas for gamers to craft their own gaming experience. It includes a robust set of interchangeable components, including a variety of analog stick caps and buttons of various shapes and sizes.
Players can use these components to craft a wide variety of control layouts. The distance of the analog stick from the gamepad can be adjusted to suit the player’s preference. These components allow players to find a composition that suits their strength, range of motion, and specific physical needs.
Software customizations. PS5 console players have a range of options to customize their Project Leonardo gaming experience:
- Set the button
- The controller buttons can be programmed to any supported function and multiple buttons can be assigned to the same function. Conversely, players can assign two functions (such as “R2” + “L2”) to the same button.
- Control features
- Players can store their programmed button settings as control profiles and easily switch between them by pressing the profile button.
- A player can store up to three control profiles and access them from their PS5 console at any time.
As mentioned earlier, Project Leonardo can be used with another similar device or with the PlayStation Dualsense controller. Up to two Project Leonardo controllers and a DualSense wireless controller can be used together as a single virtual console, allowing gamers to mix and match devices to suit their gaming needs.
Project Leonardo can be expanded with four 3.5mm AUX ports to support a variety of external adapters and third-party accessibility accessories. This allows users to integrate specialized switches, buttons or analog sticks with the Project Leonardo controller. External accessories can be dynamically connected or disconnected, and each can be configured to work like any other button. The Leonardo project is currently in development.