Project Leonardo

Project Leonardo For PlayStation 5, A Customizable Accessibility Kit Announced

Announced at CES 2023, Sony is working on Project Leonardo, a new accessibility kit for the PlayStation 5.

With more information on the PlayStation Blog, Project Leonardo is “remove barriers to gaming and help players with disabilities play more easily, more comfortably, and for longer periods on PS5.”

Under the codename Project Leonardo, the highly customizable is in development with “key contributions from accessibility experts, community members, and game developers,” says Sony. It is designed to work out of the box and help and help many players with disabilities to play games.

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Sony spoke with experts and organizations including AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stack Up, to design a controller that works together with third-party accessibility accessories. With the new controller, players can craft their own personal layout to fully experience games with a kit featuring swappable components including a variety of analog stick caps and buttons in different shapes and sizes.

The PS Blog post says that “Project Leonardo is expandable through four 3.5mm AUX ports to support a variety of external switches and third-party accessibility accessories.”

Project Leonardo’s design is symmetric, allowing players to reposition the analog sticks as close or as far apart as needed. It also lies flat on surfaces and can be used on a tabletop or wheelchair tray.

“Our team tested over a dozen designs with accessibility experts, looking for approaches that would help address key challenges to effective controller use,” said Sony designer So Morimoto. “We finally settled on a ‘split controller’ design that allows near free-form left/right thumbstick repositionability, can be used without needing to be held, and features a very flexible button and stick cap swapping. The controller can also flexibly accept combinations of accessibility accessories to create a unique aesthetic.”

Sony is still working on Project Leonardo so there was no release date provided at CES and is currently gathering feedback from the community. In recent years, Sony’s first-party offerings including The Last of Us Part 1 and God of War Ragnarök.

Xbox has its own first-party accessibility kit with the Adaptive Controller.