To help the differently-abled play the next-generation games, Microsoft has expanded its accessibility efforts with a new programme for evaluating Xbox and PC games.
The Game Reliability Engineering team and the Gaming Accessibility Team have collaborated to put together an industry-first, platform-provided game accessibility testing programme that can validate games using the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines (XAGs).
The developers can send their games to be evaluated for accessibility and tested by players with disabilities, the company said on Tuesday.
According to the ESA Foundation, there are nearly 46 million gamers with disabilities in the US alone.
“At Microsoft, accessibility is a core aspect of how products are built. The implementation of inclusive design principles is a foundational part of the overall development process across Team Xbox,” the company said.
Over the past year, developers have expressed enthusiasm for the XAGs, but also asked for additional context and clarification as to how to ensure these guidelines are properly implemented in their games.
Now, the language used in the XAGs has been improved to ensure that guidelines are clear and easily understood.
Developers now have the option to send Microsoft their Xbox or PC title and have it analyzed and validated against the recommendations provided in the XAGs.
“If issues are found, they are noted with reproduction steps, screenshots, and other information to help the developer understand what aspect of a given experience may be challenging for certain gamers with disabilities,” Microsoft said.
Developers have the option to send Microsoft their Xbox or PC title and have it analyzed and validated against the recommendations provided in the XAGs.