In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day today, Microsoft announced a slew of accessibility-related updates to the Xbox ecosystem to make the platform more inclusive for users with disabilities. This includes the ability to filter games by accessibility need, as well as updated accessibility settings in the Xbox app for PC devices.
The Xbox web store now includes accessibility filters
In the Xbox online store, users now have the option to apply accessibility filters when searching for console, PC, and cloud games. As Engadget reportedthere are 20 filters to choose from, including gameplay settings such as the ability to pause certain games, as well as audio, visual, and input features.
Users also have the option to filter games by language, with over 17 supported languages to choose from.
Accessibility upgrades include the ability to disable background images and animations
In addition to adding accessibility filters, Microsoft has also rolled out updated settings on the Xbox app for PC, including the ability to disable background images and animations. As noted by Microsoft in its announcement, “These settings are designed to help players reduce visual components that may cause disruption, confusion, or irritation.”
In terms of accessibility, these updates could make things easier for visually impaired users or users who have trouble processing information overload on their screens.
Elsewhere in the Xbox ecosystem, Microsoft has refreshed Xbox’s as well accessibility support pages. The pages now cover over 150 accessibility checks across PC and console. Recent additions include customizing the thumbstick settings in the Xbox Accessories app. The support pages are accessible on both console and Windows devices.
These much-needed updates to Xbox come on the heels of other accessibility upgrades Microsoft has made to the gaming platform over the years. In 2021, Xbox launched the Accessibility testing for Microsoft games program that allows developers to test the accessibility of their games for players with disabilities.