The screen at the top of this story doesn’t look like much. It’s a simple interface that allows you to swap any one button on the Dual Shock 4 for any other button. It’s a screen that makes gaming a much better place.
“Console wide button remapping is a huge deal for physically impaired gamers. One of the most commonly requested accessibility adaptation AbleGamers receives is for custom controller’s that move buttons to more comfortable positions,” Steve Spohn, COO of the AbleGamers charity; told Polygon.
“If you have limited movement in one arm, only one functioning hand, or even limited digit movement, button positioning is everything. And even more so if you have a neuromuscular disease such as muscular dystrophy where you fatigue more easily depending on what buttons you need to press.”
The push for full customization in button mapping has been going on for years, and some companies are better than others when it comes to offering the feature. What Sony has done is make the conversation obsolete by offering the option at the console level. This is a huge deal for many gamers.
“The ability to remap any button to a position that is more comfortable for your gaming needs mean that gamers with disabilities who have motor skill impairments will be able to play more comfortably, from longer periods of time, and in some cases where pushing certain button such as triggers were completely impossible, you would be able to play for the first time,” Spohn explained.
The push for full customization in button mapping has been going on for years
Now players don’t have to wait for the feature to be patched in, and they don’t have to worry about buying a game only to find that it doesn’t offer a feature that would allow them to play. The PlayStation 4 became, with one feature, a much more welcoming console for a huge audience.
“With this update up to 70 million gamers with disabilities will have a higher quality of enjoying video games. In addition, we will have to rework some of our own internal documents, such as our game accessibility guidelines Includification, which has button remapping as one of the top priorities,” Spohn said.
This is the gaming accessibility version of changing your maps after a major battle has been won, and the PlayStation 4 just earned many new customers by default since neither Microsoft nor Nintendo offer anything close to this feature.
They no longer have any excuse to not include these features now that the most popular current generation console made it a universal option on its platform.
Sony has made the world of gaming a bit better today, and we can only hope the rest of the consoles follow its lead.