Tech reviews

The PS5 Access Controller redefines the meaning of going ‘hands on’

Chris Garcia, One More Game

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

The PS5 Access Controller redefines the meaning of going ‘hands on’
The PS5 Access Controller is not the first accessory to fill the need for accessibility in gaming, but it is a step in the right direction for Sony

This article originally appeared on

I’ve been playing games my whole life. What started with a Super Mario game has led to a lifelong hobby that I’ve enjoyed to the fullest, showing no signs of stopping. Throughout the years, I realized that I’ve been living a privileged life, not in terms of monetary resources but simply because I can pick up and play anything I wish to with both hands.

Not everybody can enjoy this luxury. With the topic of accessibility in games being thrust into the spotlight over the past few years, it’s become more apparent that there’s a need to place further efforts into making gaming a more inclusive industry.

The PS5 Access Controller is not the first accessory to fill this need, but it is a step in the right direction for Sony as they follow up their exemplary accessibility efforts from titles like The Last of Us Part II and Spider-Man 2. For gamers like streamer Kevin Maglaqui, better known as One Hand Gaming, the PS5 Access Controller could take his gaming hobby to the next level.

The PS5 Access Controller redefines the meaning of going ‘hands on’

Having a handicap is something Kevin has had to deal with for a long time. Facing a condition that has left him with one hand to do the heavy lifting, so to speak, when it comes to playing games, he’s learned to adapt and make use of what he has to keep his gaming and streaming passion alive.

“Challenging siya, siyempre. Kalaban mo dalawang kamay ang gamit sa laro. Pero, naeenjoy ko siya kasi may mga tao na naappreciate na kaya kong sumabay sa kanila in terms of gaming.” (It’s challenging because your opponents have two hands that they can use to play, but I enjoy it because people can appreciate my skill and how I can keep up in terms of gaming.)

For Kevin, who streams regularly, his gaming habits span more than just the regular Call of Duty Mobile sessions. He is a console gamer too, and after using the PS5 Access Controller, he says that it has helped him play and enjoy more games. Not that his disability has ever stopped him before, because he even uses his left foot to help him play his favorite games.

In fact, the PS5 Access Controller makes playing certain games easier, says Kevin, which he displayed during a couple of Tekken 7 matches where he displayed a skill level that was proficient enough.

“May mga ibang games na mapapadali ka sa paglalaro, tulad ng mga 1v1 games.” (There are some games that are easier to play, like 1v1 games.)

The unique setup of the PS5 Access Controller allows for a fully customizable experience. With interchangeable buttons, a bevy of expansion ports, buttons with different form factors, and even the hardware being adjustable in form, disabled gamers like Kevin can make the hardware work for them instead of the other way around.

The PS5 Access Controller redefines the meaning of going ‘hands on’

Playing NBA 2K24 with Kevin was an eye-opening experience. Seeing him clutch the controller with one hand and use his lap and foot to not only support the hardware but also control the analog stick was something I thought I’d never personally see. I admired not only his dedication to improving and working on his craft but also his passion for gaming, something that he picked up while playing with family members growing up.

“Ito talaga yung favorite namin nilalaro, yung NBA. Dito lumalabas yung competitive side namin, yung asaran pag natalo. Hindi nila alam pero nagpapatalo ako minsan, nagpapahabol ako para intense yung laro, mas exciting.” (This is our favorite game, NBA 2K. This game brings out our competitive side, along with jeers when someone loses. They don’t know this but sometimes I lose on purpose, I let them catch up so the match is exciting.)

One other game that Kevin looked forward to playing was Spider-Man 2, another title from Sony and Insomniac Games that has fantastic accessibility settings. While this is the case, Kevin found it challenging to play, especially during the parts that required multiple button presses in quick succession.

“Nahirapan ako sa part ng movement niya, kasi yung swing niya sa controller R2, nasa likod, pagkaswing mo kailangan mabilis ka pumindot. Mahirap din sa laban kasi yung kalaban mo 360 degrees, kailangan ng mabilis na pindot tsaka yung reflexes din. Pati yung camera movement, kailangan pa ng isang PS5 Access Controller.” (Movement was quite tough for me because to swing, you need to press R2, which is almost at the back of the controller. You need to be quick with button presses, especially during combat where enemies are everywhere, along with quick reflexes if you need to dodge. Even camera movement is hard, and you’ll need another PS5 Access Controller.)

It was pretty evident watching Kevin play that he was having a hard time even with the PS5 Access Controller, bumping into buildings while swinging, and even dying during a relatively easy combat sequence. A normal DualSense controller does not have the flexibility that the PS5 Access Controller has, especially when it comes to the placement of buttons and how interchangeable they are.

After a few tweaks to the settings, Kevin felt right at home. It takes a bit of work from the user as well, and the PS5 Access Controller is not some magical device that will solve everything, but its flexibility and customizability surely help a ton.

While playing with confidence is Kevin’s forte, things do not come easy for him. He’s been put down before, but he’s also learned to take everything in stride, especially when taking into account his condition. He revealed that he has experienced his fair share of bashers who would make fun of him. As with all things, Kevin has learned to look for the silver lining, saying that he’s proud that he’s inspired some other disabled gamers to be confident and pursue their passions, especially when it comes to gaming.

“Labas tenga. If iisipin mo yung iisipin ng tao, di ka magprogress, di ka mag move forward. Lalo kang mawawalan ng gana. Oo isa lang kamay ko pero at least may ginagawa akong way para mag improve as a gamer, as a streamer, and as a person.” (In one ear and out the other. If you think about what people will say, you won’t progress and move forward. I may have one hand, but I make an effort to better myself as a gamer, a streamer, and as a person.)

It’s for people like Kevin that developments in accessibility have been made, and it’s also the reason why Sony is doing their part to make gaming more inclusive. Before the release of the PS5 Access Controller, Sony made award-winning accessibility efforts in their first-party titles, particularly The Last of Us Part II. It’s a small step forward in a very long journey, but gamers like Kevin are hopeful that more improvements and advances in the way players like him can play will be made in the future.

“Nadedevelop every year yung technology. Dati yung cellphone Nokia at keypad lang, ngayon may touch screen na. Pwede din mangyari sa PS5 Access Controller.” (Technology is evolving every year. Before, cell phones were only from Nokia and only had keypads, but now it is mostly touch screens. Developments can be made to the PS5 Access Controller as well.)

It’s clear to me, along with gamers like Kevin, that Sony has done something right with the development of the PS5 Access Controller. While it can be improved, it also bears saying that the first step is usually the hardest one to take, and things will only move forward for Sony. Disabled gamers will get to play a whole new range of titles thanks to the controller, and as time goes by, more feedback will come in as to how the product can be improved further.

The dream is that everyone who wants to play will get to play games. With the software side of things seeing increased focus on accessibility settings, hardware is playing catch up, but it’s encouraging to see that more and more companies are finally taking that ever-so-important first step. Over the next few years, advancements in technology will allow gamers like Kevin to enjoy these games the way they were meant to be, but for now, getting them to go hands-on is already a win. –

The PS5 Access Controller is now available worldwide, with a suggested retail price of PHP 5,090 in the Philippines.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!