Xbox introducing accessibility tags to Microsoft Store Xbox App

Ben Bayliss3 minute read

The Microsoft Store on Xbox consoles is introducing accessibility feature tags to better highlight what features games have.

Xbox announced today that game accessibility feature tags are heading to the Microsoft Store that is available on Xbox consoles. At current, there are 20 accessibility features available as tags and have been decided upon through extensive user research and discussions with Xbox’s Gaming and Disability community.

An example of some of the tags indicates what games have narrated game menus, subtitle options, input remapping, full keyboard support, and also games that feature single stick gameplay.

When browsing the store, users will be able to visit a game’s store page, go to Details, and by scrolling horizontally right, find the accessibility section that will list what features the game has and the number of features for that criteria. Users can interact with that accessibility section and open the list of features that will tell the player what is included in that game.

Each accessibility tag feature includes a specific set of criteria for meeting the requirements for a tag. For example, developers will need to meet a specific font size to have the “Subtitle options” feature tag checked, but Xbox will also require subtitles to be resized by up to 200%. There is also a way for game publishers to include links to any additional accessibility information available for their games.

An accessibility spotlight page will find users introduced to a range of games that are known for accessibility, and there are hubs for specific criteria for features such as audio, visual, and more. A featured games hub also highlights games that “have been recognized as standing out for their commitment to accessibility or innovation in a particular category of features.”

Having these Xbox accessibility feature tags available on the Microsoft Store will help users to browse the store and see what features are available in a game and make an informed decision. Previously we’ve talked about the importance of digital stores highlighting accessibility features with Google Stadia being seemingly the only digital storefront to show this information.

The Microsoft Store is due to undergo some major changes on PC as well, as detailed in a new blog post (via Windows Central) where more stores and third-party apps will become available. This will ensure the new store is ready for the recently announced Windows 11.

While the new feature will be available publicly at a later date, those who are part of the Xbox Accessibility Insiders League (XAIL) will start seeing the tags starting from today. There are more tags planned for the future with a focus on ensuring it doesn’t become overwhelming.

Xbox encourages interested users to join the Xbox Accessibility Insiders League and visit the “Accessibility Spotlight” store pages and leave feedback to help improve the feature.

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Ben
BaylissEditor-in-ChiefHe/Him

Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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