PlayStation’s first-party games are well known for their excellent accessibility features and settings. Sony’s first-party studios spend a lot of time and resources making sure their games are playable by everyone.
PlayStation is a leader in video game accessibility with its first-party games and its research and development into the Access controller, an accessible controller that can meet a wide range of diverse needs.
Accessibility features in Sony’s first-party games are so innovative that they have drawn the attention of the Game Accessibility Conference (GACONF). Both Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Horizon Forbidden West’s DLC Burning Shores have been nominated for awards this year.
Spider-Man 2 has been nominated in the Best Representation category for playable character Hayley Cooper (pictured above.) Hayley was playable in the Graffiti Trouble mission in Spider-Man 2. She is a deaf character who communicates with Miles Morales and her friends using ASL (American Sign Language). Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 has also been nominated for an Innovation in Accessibility Award at this year’s The Game Awards.
Horizon Forbidden West has been nominated in the Best mental health accessibility category for its Thalassophobia setting. The Thalasmaphobia setting was introduced in Burning Shores as an additional accessibility setting. Thalasmaphobia is the fear of large or deep water. When you turn the setting on, it means you do not run out of air while underwater, although the Diving Mask you get later in the main game gives you infinite air you can use this setting from the start of the game. With the setting turned on, it also makes it easier to see underwater.
PlayStation – Innovations in Accessibility
It’s not just PlayStation Studios games that are being nominated for accessibility awards. PlayStation Studios, the brand that covers all of PlayStation’s first-party studios and features in the Marvel-like intro at the beginning of first-party games has also been nominated. PlayStation Studios has been nominated for Most Dedicated Publisher – The publisher making the most significant or most consistent efforts.
Other PlayStation nominations at the GACONF Awards 2023 include Insomniac Games for Most Dedicated Studio. The September 2023 PS5 update in the Hardware accessibility category for the assist controller feature. And Best Comms/Marketing for the Access Controller – Accessibility Consultant Stories.