In honor of this year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we wanted to reflect on the past year, and share our thoughts on the importance of engaging with the community, our approach to breaking down barriers, spotlighting our accessibility features in some of our offerings, and why improving accessibility creates benefits for all players.

A few years ago, Sony Interactive Entertainment took up the initiative to improve accessibility for all players to another level by dedicating resources, personnel, research, and time committed to prioritizing accessibility. As a result, several teams have formed such as the PlayStation Studios UXR team dedicated to accessibility, the Platform Accessibility team focused on hardware and peripherals, and the cross-org Accessibility Working Group that connects leaders from PlayStation Studios, Platform, Marketing, PR, ESG, and others. These teams and leaders have all come together both internally and with the accessibility community for the purpose of delivering a better experience for our players and to support our company’s promise that “play has no limits”. To help achieve this, we came up with the following three pillars for our accessibility strategy:

  1. Inclusive Games: Strive to make content accessible in order for our games to be enjoyed by as many as possible.
  2. PlayStation 5 Console Features: Create ways for players to access content and social networks in a way that’s navigable.
  3. Controller Innovation: Offer players an accessible input device that allows them to navigate and enjoy the games.


The first pillar is games. PlayStation Studios has had a string of AAA titles released with innovative accessibility features. This started with Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in 2016 and later The Last of Part II in June 2020, which broke down gaming barriers for players and created a suggested playbook for developers for how to consider accessibility features in their games. The Last of Us Part II released with over 60 accessibility features, including industry breakthroughs such as Combat Audio Cues, Navigation and Traversal Assistance, High-Contrast Display, and a Skip Puzzle option.

Over the past few years, other popular games have also worked to include more accessibility features – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart released with 24 accessibility features, after incorporating accessibility into their development processes, and most recently Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 included over 80 accessibility features.

Much of this grassroots support can be tied back to the UX Research team at Sony Interactive Entertainment. This team hosts bi-weekly working sessions dedicated to creating a space for PlayStation Studios employees to come together and work through how to solve current accessibility gaming issues.


An important turning point for the accessibility strategy was when we conducted an in-home study that allowed us to send PlayStation 5 consoles to a select group of gamers with a variety of disabilities and watch them interact with the console remotely. We tracked people’s interactions with the console and collected their feedback to inform our vision for the accessibility program. One of the features that was developed as a direct result of this work was System UI Haptic Feedback, which allows players to turn on controller haptic feedback effects while navigating their PS5.

When we launched PS5, we had 11 accessibility features built in. Since then, and through listening to our global community, we have added additional features to better the gaming experience including Zoom, Pause and Repeat for Screen Reader, Mono Audio for Headphones, the ability to use a second controller for assistance, and more.

When talking to gamers with disabilities about their experience with PS5, the top request was gaming accessibility tags. Accessibility Tags allow game developers to provide accurate and detailed descriptions of the accessibility features supported in their games to allow players to make an informed choice before buying a game. These tags cover Visual, Audio, Subtitle & Caption, Control, Gameplay, and Online Communication categories. We now have over 300 games on PlayStation Store for PlayStation 5 with accessibility tags, and the number of tagged games continues to grow.

Access Controller

During the development process of the Access controller for PlayStation 5, we conducted research on gamers with physical disabilities in order to design the hardware, UIs, and packaging. The Access controller was designed around the idea that we could create a game controller that many players with disabilities could use straight out of the box. Teams across product, design, marketing, and packaging from Tokyo, San Mateo, and London collectively ideated and shaped the Access controller’s development.

A unique aspect about this design process was how incredibly iterative it was thanks to the amount of research resources available to us. We partnered with multiple organizations and community groups, such as AbleGamers, Stack Up, and SpecialEffect. We also utilized our SIE employee network, ABLE@PlayStation, to gather feedback from our internal employees with physical disabilities.

With these insights in mind, the team came up with three key principles:

  1. Flexibility in Holding & Using the Device – The controller can be placed at any 360 degree orientation, on different flat surfaces, a wheelchair tray, or attached to an AMPS pattern mount.
  2. Accurately Pressing Buttons – Configurable Buttons: Large button caps in a variety of shapes and sizes that can be uniquely positioned & mapped to inputs, for most effective use.
  3. Using Thumbsticks Effectively – Adjustable Stick Caps: Three different stick caps to choose from and ability to tailor stick sensitivity and deadzone to suit the needs of the user

In addition to the above pillars, SIE remains deeply committed to fostering continuing conversations about accessibility by actively participating in prominent events such as CSUN, TechShare Pro Conference, and CES On The Hill. These platforms provide invaluable opportunities to showcase the importance of inclusive design innovations, ensuring that the needs of players with disabilities are listened to to better create technological advancements for all. Through engaging workshops, interactive demonstrations, and collaborative discussions, SIE not only highlights its dedication to creating products and services that cater to diverse user needs but also fosters meaningful connections with advocates, experts, and users within the disabled community, ultimately driving forward positive change and empowerment for all.

Moving Forward

The accessibility journey for Sony Interactive Entertainment has only just begun and will be forever evolving, driven by feedback from the accessibility community and new technologies in the gaming space. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the community and working toward our mission of making play accessible to as many gamers as possible.