The State of Accessible Gaming

Matt Dion
2 min readJan 19


What is the current state of accessible gaming? How large is the audience for accessible gaming hardware and software? Where does Sony’s “Project Leonardo” fit into the broader landscape of accessible gaming peripherals?

Source: Sony

The following is a preview of an article initially published on January 18, 2023 for Naavik Digest, an excellent weekly newsletter and source of games industry analysis where you can read more of my writing, along with that of a host of other incredibly talented contributors.

You can read this piece in its entirety here, and you can subscribe to Naavik Digest for free here.

Sony made headlines recently at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show — not for any major game reveals this time, or for any jabs thrown at Microsoft, but for its announcement of Project Leonardo, a new initiative focused on increasing accessibility in gaming.

Project Leonardo is Sony’s codename for a new controller kit that emphasizes player customization and comfort. The controller — created in partnership with charitable organizations AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, and Stack Up — is designed to work “out of the box” with PS5 consoles and other third-party accessibility tools. Sony’s goal for the new kit is to help “players with disabilities play games more easily, more comfortably, and for longer periods.”

This is a welcome development for the industry, as accessibility in gaming is a topic deserving of greater attention. Improving the accessibility of gaming hardware and software makes our industry more inclusive and brings the joy and social connection of gaming experiences to more people.

Beyond being a cultural and inclusivity imperative, this also represents an opportunity to expand the industry as a whole. By making games more accessible, companies grow the pie of gamers who can play and enjoy their products, while also garnering positive media and social sentiment for their efforts. Put differently, designing for accessibility ensures a game can be experienced and fully enjoyed by the widest possible audience. For a good overview on the importance of accessibility, check out this piece from the IGDA Games Accessibility Special Interest Group.

To put some loose numbers around this important audience…

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Matt Dion

Always Scheming is the product of Matt Dion, a product manager and games industry professional. All the things: