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Microsoft’s Chris Charla on making Xbox accessible

Chris Charla, Director of [email protected], told Stevivor how Microsoft is working to make Xbox the most accessible platform on the market.

“I think on the tech side we’ve worked to try and enable as many different business models and systems as developers can throw at us and we’re always excited to see something new,” Charla said.

“You know enabling cross-play with other consoles and enabling cross progression so people can keep their stuff as they move from platform to platform I think have been things that we’ve done that have been really like, I’ll call it ‘player focused’. And players and developers have responded super, super well to those.”

Having previously discussed how Game Pass has made gaming more accessible to gamers, we moved onto the US only Xbox All Access which Chris confirmed is something that Microsoft has been testing. Details of the pricing model can be found here and Chris elaborated on what he feels is the intent behind the idea.

“I know the way I grew up we didn’t have a ton of money and never would have gotten an Xbox. But I could have found $25 bucks a month and to get Game Pass [included] you’re automatically getting 100 plus games and you can play them online on this console with this cell phone pricing model with zero interest at a discount.

“We’ll see what happens and I think it’s really player focused.”

With Chris confirming All Access is a test model, does that mean there’s potential that Xbox All Access will make its way down under? Chris didn’t elaborate, and for now, as the program in the way it works is essentially the equivalent of a loan, there’s potentially some hurdles that Microsoft will need to leap over before it will be available here. If it comes out of testing and becomes a permanent pricing model in the US, don’t get excited too quickly. A permanent release in the US in no way guarantees something similar down under as we’ve been through this before — we’re looking at you, Xbox Design Lab.

While All Access brings gaming to players on a budget, the Xbox Adaptive Controller brings gaming to those who could never game before.

“When we announced [the Adaptive Controller] people cried in the office.

“You think about how powerful video games are and you think about how video games like bring people together in the sorta, call it social currency whatever you want, or like playground currency that you get from playing video games.

“And then you think about someone who’s disabled in one way or another, and probably has trouble just getting through daily life, it’s just harder for them. And then they can’t play video games. I feel like it can wall you off and decrease your level of social currency. So to ship a controller at a really reasonable price I think, for what it is, that enables people to get back into the game and play, or compete or just have fun and have something to talk about with everyone else, to me it’s just the coolest thing.”

We couldn’t agree more. It’s moves like this, along with being on the right side of the cross play-battle (though Sony is finally catching up) that Xbox does seem to be much more player focused than its primary competitor.

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About the author

Jay Ball

I'm a big fan of older consoles and can flawlessly complete the first 2 levels of Donkey Kong Country with my eyes closed. These days I still play platformers but also love shooters, arcade racers and action adventure titles. I may or may not be in denial about the death of rhythm games.