Project Leonardo Announced for PS5 – Accessibility Controller Kit Revealed

The accessibility controller kit offers swappable components, buttons of different shapes and sizes, custom layouts, button mapping and more.

Posted By | On 05th, Jan. 2023

During CES 2023, Sony announced an accessibility controller kit for PS5, codenamed “Project Leonardo.” It’s touted as highly customizable and works “out of the box” for players with disabilities. In addition to working with different third-party accessibility accessories, it can be paired with Sony’s DualSense controllers. Check out the trailer below to see it in action.

Designed following discussions with accessibility experts and organizations like AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stack Up, Project Leonardo offers swappable components like analog stick caps, buttons of different shapes and sizes, and so on. These can be arranged in various layouts, including adjusting the distance of the analog sticks from the gamepad. It doesn’t need to be held, with AMPS mounts or tripods with 360-degree orientation available, and one can program a “north” orientation for the analog sticks.

Software functions include Button Mapping, with multiple buttons mappable to the same function, or two functions mappable to the same button. There’s also the option to store up to three control profiles and switch between them quickly with the Profile button at any time.

The accessibility controller is usable standalone, with another Project Leonardo, or with the DualSense. Players can connect up to two Project Leonardo controllers and one DualSense controller for a virtual controller, which allows friends and family to assist in playing. These can be turned on and for dynamically.

Four 3.5mm AUX ports are included for connecting various switches and third-party accessories. Regarding Leonardo’s design approach, Sony Interactive Entertainment designer So Morimoto said, “Project Leonardo is part of the PlayStation 5 product family and is based on the same design concept. We were inspired by the idea of all players enjoying the world of PlayStation together.

“Our team tested over a dozen designs with accessibility experts, looking for approaches that would help address key challenges to effective controller use. We finally settled on a ‘split controller’ design that allows near free-form left/right thumbstick repositionability, can be used without needing to be held, and features very flexible button and stick cap swapping.

“Because players can customize Project Leonardo according to their needs, there is no one ‘right’ form factor. We want to empower them to create their own configurations. The controller can also flexibly accept combinations of accessibility accessories to create a unique aesthetic. I am excited that the design will be completed through collaboration with players rather than presenting them with a single form factor.”

Project Leonardo is still in development, and Sony continues to gather feedback. It’s looking to share more details regarding launch timing and features in the future, so stay tuned.


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