Xbox makes it easy to find accessible games in its stores

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Xbox makes it easier to find accessibility information for games, according to a company announcement during its Accessibility showcase. Games from the Microsoft store will have accessibility feature tags, so players with disabilities can ensure that games have the features they need before purchasing or downloading them. Tags appear in the store for members of the Xbox Accessibility Insiders League (XAIL) starting today and will eventually roll out to all Xbox users.

Tags address a problem commonly expressed by disabled gamers – they often have to do their own research to determine which games they can play. The list of certain features in the store consolidates information that can be frustrating to find, especially if it is not available on developer websites or in reviews. Publishers will also be able to link to additional store information. As the beacon system kicks off in the Microsoft Store, Xbox says they will also start appearing on Xbox.com, the Xbox app on PC, and Xbox Game Pass apps in the coming months.

A new spotlight in the store for accessible games.
Image: Xbox

Xbox says it plans to collect feedback from XAIL members over the next month before expanding the availability of the beacons. Part of fine-tuning the tags is determining specific sets of criteria that games must meet in order to be labeled with each feature – a game with captions that cannot be resized, for example, would not meet the standard. bar for the subtitle options tag. The tag list includes 20 features, such as commented game menus, input remapping, and single stick gameplay, with more to be added in the future based on player feedback.

“We see this as an opportunity to take the industry a bit further,” says Anita Mortaloni, director of accessibility at Xbox, who hopes the tag criteria will encourage more developers to build robust accessibility features into their apps. games.

“As we continue on this journey, more and more titles will be [the tags] and hopefully inspire developers to look at those criteria and design their game with those criteria in mind, ”says Mortaloni,“ because they know that once they’ve released their titles can be tagged with those. here because they put this work in place from the start.

There’s also a new “Spotlight Accessibility” section in the store, with games in different categories based on the accessibility features they have, like audio or visual. Search results will be filterable by feature in the coming months, according to Xbox.

Xbox has also announced several other features that it says will launch soon:

  • Quick settings, which allow users to turn accessibility features on or off without leaving a game or app.
  • Global color filters on Xbox Series X | S, for people with color blindness to customize the display of colors in games, apps, and menus.
  • Night mode with adjustable filters and brightness, controller and power button light dimming and programming options.
  • A free game accessibility fundamentals course for developers launching in Microsoft Learn in late October.

Watch the full Xbox accessibility showcase below:

Updated October 1, 5:30 p.m. ET: Added comments from Anita Mortaloni.


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