Project Leonardo, the PS5 controller that overcomes disabilities

Sony introduces a new control system built around maximum accessibility

On the occasion of CES 2023 Sony Interactive Entertainment presented Project Leonardo, code name for a customizable and accessible, ready-to-use controller kit to help many users with disabilities to play easier, more comfortably and for longer. The complex design, Sony says, was created in collaboration with accessibility experts and organizations such as AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stack Up, with the intention of creating a configurable controller that integrates with many third-party accessibility accessories and with the PS5 console, opening up new gaming possibilities. The controller was designed to address the challenges common to many gamers with limited motor control, including difficulty holding a controller for long periods, accurately pressing small groups of keys or triggers, or optimally positioning the thumbs and fingers on a standard controller.

Project Leonardo for PS5 offers players the ability to tailor their gaming experience. It features a robust set of interchangeable components, including a variety of analog thumbstick caps and buttons in different shapes and sizes. Players can use these components to create a variety of control layouts. Additionally, the distance of the analog stick from the gamepad can be adjusted according to the player’s preference. These components allow players to adopt a configuration appropriate to their strength, mobility and specific physical needs. Up to two Project Leonardo controllers and a DualSense wireless controller can be used simultaneously as a single virtual controller, allowing players to combine devices to suit their particular gaming needs or to play collaboratively with others.

Project Leonardo is expandable via four 3.5mm AUX ports that support a variety of external switches and third-party accessibility accessories. This allows users to integrate specific switches, analog sticks or keys with the Project Leonardo controller. External accessories can be dynamically connected or disconnected and each of them can be configured like any other button. The product is still in a stage of development, and an exact release date has not been announced. Sony has stated that it will announce the official name and release date in the near future.