Microsoft’s all-inclusive Xbox Adaptive Controller will make gaming far more accessible. Originally announced back in May, the controller forgoes traditional design conventions. Gone are the analog sticks, with two large fully programmable buttons on the long, flat surface. It looks like the perfect controller for those of us with disabilities. Thankfully, the Adaptive Controller box is just as inclusive as the controller itself. You won’t need to use scissors, knives or anything to open up the packaging.
Kevin Marshall, creative director of Microsoft’s Packaging Design Studio explained that the packaging for the Adaptive Controller had to be “empowering”.
“The product team was putting so much diligence into getting the controller right that to not have a package that was thoughtfully and mindfully designed for the end user would have felt like a real miss. With this product in particular, we felt a heightened responsibility. We wanted to create a package that was clearly designed with the end user in mind, and we wanted it to feel like it was just part of our ecosystem. We wanted it to be empowering, but we didn’t want it to stand apart from any package we create.”
The packaging opens quickly and without stress. Multiple entry points can be accessed easily. A loop is placed on the outside of the Xbox Adaptive Controller box. This is so users can easily remove the sealing tape. Another loop opens up the interior box, which contains the controller. A hinge opens the inner box, rather than a tricky lid that usually requires two hands to open. More loops appear throughout the box, too. Compartments containing guides and cables are accessible via these loops. The loops are to be pulled, simply opening the box with a little force. You can pull the loops with anything, mouth included.
Marshall described the experience of the packaging design as “powerful”. “It was a really powerful experience. I don’t think you realize, until you’re required to think differently, what you take for granted. As a designer, when you see things through a completely different lens, it’s paradigm-shifting.” Here’s hoping Microsoft can bring this new packaging design philosophy into all of its products.