Xbox makes it easier to find availability information for games, according to a statement from the company on its Availability Showcase. Games in the Microsoft Store will have access feature codes so players with disabilities can ensure that games have the features they need before purchasing or downloading them. The tags will appear in the Xbox Accessibility Insiders League (XAIL) Store as of today and will eventually be released to all Xbox users.
The brands solve a problem that is often expressed by players with disabilities: they often have to do their own research to find out which games they can play. List of specific features in the store consolidates information that can be frustrating to track, especially if it is not available on developer sites or in reviews. Publishers will also be able to link to additional information from the store. While the tag system launches in the Microsoft Store, Xbox says they will also start appearing on Xbox.com, the Xbox app on PC, and Xbox Game Pass apps in the coming months.
Xbox says it plans to collect feedback from XAIL members over the next month, before extending the availability of the tags. Part of the fine-tuning of the tags involves setting specific sets of criteria that games must meet in order to be tagged with each feature — a game with subtitles that e.g. Can not be resized would not meet the bar for subtitle settings tag. The list of tags contains 20 functions, e.g. Told game menus, input-remapping and single stick gameplay, and more may be added in the future based on feedback from players.
There is also a new section “Accessibility Spotlight” in the store with games in different categories based on the accessibility features they have, e.g. Sound or image. Search results will be filtered by function in the coming months, according to Xbox.
Xbox also announced several other features that it says will be launched soon:
- Quick settings that allow people to turn accessibility features on or off without leaving a game or app.
- Global color filters on Xbox Series X | S, for people with color blindness to customize how colors appear across games, apps, and menus.
- Night mode with adjustable filters and brightness, dimmer control and on / off button and scheduling options.
- A free basic game accessibility course for developers, launched in Microsoft Learn in late October.