Sony revealed various new projects during its CES 2023 press conference. One of them was Project Leonardo for PS5, a new accessible controller kit. The system was unveiled during the conference by PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan. Ryan called it “the next step” in the journey “to make gaming more accessible.” The kit is designed to help players with disabilities “play more easily, more comfortably, and for longer periods on PS5.” Though games increasingly offer detailed accessibility options, like those in The Last of Us Part 1 and God of War Ragnarok, sometimes players require customized or adaptive interface hardware to be able to play effectively.
A post on the PlayStation Blog detailed the Project Leonardo PS5 accessible controller more thoroughly. It called the kit “highly customizable” and capable of working right out of the box. It was designed in collaboration with accessibility experts, and organizations advocating for disabled game players. These include AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, and Stack Up.
Sony shared some of their comments in an introductory trailer, as well.
The Project Leonardo kit integrates with both the PS5 console itself and with third-party accessibility accessories. It looks like a large, circular controller, similar to an old-style PC flight stick, with a circular base that mounts various buttons, and a protruding joystick mount that can hold an analog stick. Players can swap out the buttons around the circumference of the controller based on their needs, and assign button placements at will. It can work in pairs, or alongside a traditional DualSense or DualSense Edge gamepad. Players will be able to customize the controller on a software level, as well, remapping buttons and storing up to three controller profiles to swap between.
The Project Leonardo PS5 Accessible Controller Kit is in development, without a current launch window or suggested price point. Microsoft launched a similar accessible controller kit, the Xbox Adaptive Controller, in 2018.