Are You Concerned About the Lack of Next-Gen System-Level Accessibility Reveals?

Today has been a big day for Xbox as the offical release period for the next-generation Xbox Series X has been confirmed to be launching sometime in November 2020. However, this comes with the news that Halo Infinite will no longer be a launch title for the console as the game is being delayed to next year. But in light of the announcement of the Xbox Series X release date some information regarding what players can expect at launch were also revealed…but nothing about accessibility.

Will Tuttle, Xbox Wire’s Editor in Chief revealed the information in a blog post. He touches on the Halo Infinite delay and says, “We have plenty to keep you busy until Chief arrives,”. That’s where we find out that the Xbox Series X will have “thousands of games” to play that span across four generations. This includes 50 games due to launch this year across generations, some Xbox Series X titles heading to the Xbox Games Pass service, and over 40 existing games that are being optimized to take advantage of the upcoming console.

Xbox Series X onsole chip

the blog post also mentions the “brand new console features” such as the hardware-accelerated Direct X raytracing, and the ability to get up to 120fps. Faster loading times, and the fancy Quick Resume function. But yet there has been nothing talking about system-level accessibility. There is still time for the company to mention them of course. Xbox is rumored to have another event up its sleeve for this month, but the absence of accessibility features being mentioned available on the console itself is already concerning.

This isn’t just a worry I have for Xbox. Sony is pushing out a next-generation PS5 console later this year, sometime around Holiday 2020. However, both companies have only focused specifically on informing players about their speed, and power, games, and…well that’s really it. There hasn’t even been anything to indicate accessibility improvements to the consoles on a system level.

PS5 console and devices shot

Sure, Sony probably isn’t too surprising in its silence, especially given the concerns I have about the DualSense controller situation. But Xbox has a fantastic team of accessibility experts (As does Sony) that try to promote accessibility as much as they can. So it feels odd that the company markets its support for accessibility, but we’ve yet to see some form of a hint at accessibility features coming to the console.

Surely the companies can’t be relying entirely on game developers to create their own accessibility features? I really hope we see something soon from both Xbox and PlayStation for the next-generation consoles, even if it’s blatant confirmation that existing features in current-generation systems are being carried over.

What do you think? Do you think we’ll maybe see something mentioned for either the PS5 or the Xbox Series X in a future event? Or are you concerned that marketing has taken a stronger focus on performance and game libraries? Get chatting on Twitter.

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Ben Bayliss

Deaf Editor at Can I Play That? - British and enjoys games with good subtitles and will complain about bad subtitles.

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