Certain players on Xbox consoles encountered an error while connecting an unlicensed controller to their console. The Xbox error, with error code 0x82d60002, informs the player that their accessory is not supported. It goes on to share a date after which the Xbox console will block the controller from use. According to an Xbox support article about error 0x82d60002, this is 2 weeks after the error first appeared. Blocking certain accessories may affect adaptive controller setups on Xbox consoles.
Adaptive controller setups
While Xbox and their licensed partners provide great accessibility options, the policy change could affect some adapters. Players use adapters like the Titan Two and Brook’s Wingman XB 2 to connect controllers that would not otherwise work on a system. While this is often for preference and sometimes for competitive advantage, their most impactful uses involve accessibility.
As a longtime Titan 2 and Brook UFB player, either for #accessibility (the former) and personal preference and multi-system support (the latter), I’m honestly pretty worried as to what might happen with this. I may not be able to stream @Xbox games with sighted assistance soon!SightlessKombat on Twitter / X
When blocking adapters like these from use, it might mean players’ existing adaptive gaming setups no longer function. Aside from the obvious accessibility concerns, this also touches on the financial implications. Gaming is an expensive hobby, even more so to many disabled players. Whether it’s an adaptive gaming setup that may lose its function, or simply controllers that are cheaper to buy than their premium counterparts, the policy change may affect disabled players disproportionately.
When everybody plays, we all win… but not like this
It’s not quite clear what the reasoning behind this unexpected policy change is. At least in part it contradicts the Xbox mantra of “when everybody plays, we all win”. Probably it’s a financial decision, or less likely an anti-cheat measure for competitive multiplayer gaming. For the latter I would argue it should be left up to developers to detect and block these controllers. Of course I would rather not see this kind of exclusion at all, especially not platform-wide affecting offline and single player experiences as well. It would also be contradictory to the already licensed controllers that might give a competitive edge, such as those from 8BitDo, with turbo functions.
An article on Windows Central mentions Microsoft might be making it easier for (licensed) manufacturers to produce wireless controllers. While this would be a positive future policy change, it hardly offsets the negative impact that could now block controllers on Xbox consoles. We will be keeping an eye on this.
Update: changed text on support page
The support page now confirms that players will not be impacted if they do not encounter the error. It also clarifies that there is no impact to players using the Xbox Adaptive Controller regardless of the peripherals plugged into its USB and 3.5mm ports. Sadly this doesn’t tell us much more than we knew, nor do we have a better understanding of how unauthorized accessories can compromise the gaming experience on Xbox consoles. Clear communication is important, and we would very much like to learn how this policy is intended to accommodate for adaptive gaming setups that may use or depend on unlicensed peripherals.