Last month we had the chance to speak exclusively with Sam Thompson, Manager and Senior Producer at Sony Interactive Entertainment about accessibility at PlayStation. Since the release of The Last Of Us Part II last year, Sony has been making a name for itself in the accessibility arena, with a lot of work being done to make their games and consoles accessible to everyone.

With more than 60 accessibility-related options in Naughty Dog’s latest game, a PS5 interface with a wide range of configurations and a Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart With over 60 accessibility-related options in Naughty Dog’s latest game, a PS5 interface with a wide range of configurations, and a PS5 that is also very generous in terms of options, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s goal is quite clear: to establish total equality in the accessibility and inclusiveness of its products and services.

Press-Kitron: PlayStation has been quiet for a long time when it comes to accessibility features. The Last Of Us Part II is one of the games that offers the most accessibility features…

Sam Thompson: I would say that here at Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) we’ve been anything but quiet in our quest for accessibility. If you look at all aspects of our platform, whether it’s games like The Last of Us Part II with over 60 accessibility-related options or out-of-the-box accessibility options for the PlayStation 5, we’re certainly not quiet about our passion for creating accessible and inclusive gaming experiences.

If you look back to 2015 and our PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.5, it was really the turning point that solidified the accessibility movement at the console level and brought a number of key accessibility features into a dedicated menu for the first time. Features such as custom button assignments, zooming in on displayed images, reverse colors, and text-to-speech, to name a few.

A milestone that solidified the accessibility movement at the console level and brought a number of key accessibility features to a dedicated menu for the first time

In addition to console accessibility, our game studios are releasing innovative and inclusive gaming experiences that continue to redefine accessibility in games. From Returnal’s Assistive Control System to Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which dynamically controls the speed of the game, and even The Last of Us Part II, which allows visually impaired people to play. Our studios are passionate about inclusion in video games, and while I’m only naming a few here, we’re constantly looking for ways to ensure that everyone can enjoy our titles.

Our studios are passionate aboutnent for inclusion in video games

Label PlayStation StudiosLabel PlayStation Studios

Press-Kitron: Naughty Dog said they’ve been working on accessibility features since The Last Of Us Part II started development in 2017. At Insomniac Games, they started in 2018, right after Spider-Man was released. Will you be adding accessibility features to other types of games (like open world games)?

See also  The best contents of the week in MC (CCLXXIII)

S.T.: Accessibility is not defined by, or limited to, specific game genres. At EIS, there are many factors that come into play for each development partner to identify their vision of accessibility and the features that best suit their game.

EIS provides tools, knowledge, experience and resources, but it is up to the content creators to shape the consumer experience. For example, what began as an experiment and design exploration for Naughty Dog resulted in the studio’s first official release of dedicated accessibility features in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

Similarly, Insomniac Games released a first set of accessibility options in Marvel’s Spider-Man with a day one patch. This was the catalyst that really helped Insomniac Games define how they wanted to represent inclusion in games, and they used this momentum as a springboard to continue to develop these features and eventually incorporate them into Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

This is an ongoing effort that is not limited to our development partners. Our hardware and system software teams are also constantly refining existing accessibility support, strategies and technology, while simultaneously working to develop exciting new accessibility features.

The Last Of Us Part II - AccessibilitéThe Last Of Us Part II - Accessibilité

Naughty Dog

Press-Kitron: The work that Naughty Dog (on The Last of Us Part II) and Insomniac Games (on Ratchet & Clank) have done is enormous. Will this know-how be shared with other games?other PlayStation studios in the future? Are they completely autonomous in this respect?

S.T.: Absolutely, I’m working with many of the PlayStation Studios teams to share technology and best practices directly to not only expose our development partners to specific solutions based on the technology they’re working on, but also to offer them some best practices and help align development support on the console side.

See also  Why you should buy your next smartphone before 2022

By sharing technology and ideas across multiple touch points, we give each studio a wide range of resources, expertise and experience. Providing the right tools to help our development partners achieve their goals is a top priority, especially when it comes to accessibility.

By sharing technology and ideas across multiple touch points, we give each studio a wide range of resources, expertise and experience.

So PlayStation has been working on accessibility for over five years. The process began with an update for PS4, and has since been rolled out to PlayStation games. Today, Sony Interactive Entertainment is working to make most of their games accessible with many options to allow as many players as possible to experience PlayStation.

PlayStation Studios is passionate about inclusion in video games and is working together to share technology and ideas to move forward together in the inclusion of PlayStation 5 games.
Of course, as you might expect, we couldn’t help but ask if the goal from now on will be to make all PlayStation games accessible to everyone. We’re thinking of titles like Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7 and God of War Ragnarök that are coming soon. Unfortunately, Sony Interactive Entertainment has not yet answered this question.

Similarly, after the PS5 interface, we wanted to know if there were any plans for adapted controllers in the coming months or years. Here again, Sony Interactive Entertainment did not want to say anything for the moment. For our part, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on PlayStation’s accessibility news.

See also  Why the Pixel 6 might turn you away from the iPhone 13

Sony PS5Sony PS5