The head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has confirmed that Xbox Live Avatars will soon be available to place within digital wheelchairs, allowing for more customization options for gamers.
UPDATE: Partner Director of Program Management for Xbox and Windows Platforms at Microsoft, Mike Ybarra, has tweeted out a photo of the wheelchair accessories. As an added bonus, fans can also check out the new and improved Xbox Live Avatar models!
Somewhat tucked away after the Xbox One debuted, cartoony and customized renditions of gamers, affectionately referred to as Xbox Live Avatars, have begun to make their presence known once again on the platform. Allowing players to more accurately display their personality to other Xbox and Windows users, these characters have been a means for fans to express themselves and their gaming persona. With that said, some may not have been able to accurately create avatars in a way that's true to them – with wheelchairs being one of the most noticeable absences.
Understandably fed up with waiting, one fan took to Twitter with the desire to start a petition for the addition of wheelchairs to the Avatar app. Before such a move could be made, however, Microsoft head Phil Spencer confirmed that just such an option is set to arrive for gamers in the near future, assuring the user that such a move is "not far off."
Given the fact that wheelchair support for Xbox Live Avatars is something that many fans have wanted to to be made available since the program first arrived on Xbox 360 in 2008, it's good to see that Microsoft is finally catering to the longstanding desires of handicapped gamers – albeit eight years after the feature's debut. Still, it's a move by Microsoft that demonstrates that the company is indeed listening to fans in regards to the future, and that's a stance that's sure to extend well beyond tweaks to fan-made avatars.
With a big push en route for the Xbox brand in the coming months – primarily in the forms of both the Xbox One Slim later this August and the now inevitable arrival of the supped up Scorpio console next year –there are sure to be even more changes made with gamers in mind. In that sense, it'll be very interesting to see what Microsoft has up its sleeve for the remainder of 2016 and beyond.
Given the fact that the firm has already begun polling to see if consumers would be interested in seeing the likes of Perfect Dark's Joanna Dark and Crackdown's Agent join Killer Instinct, it's obvious that the firm is paying attention to core software desires. Whether or not the longstanding wish lists of fans will be addressed moving forward remains to be seen, but there are undoubtedly a number of tweaks and additions to the Xbox brand that the house of Gates has in mind.
What else would you like to see added to the Xbox Live Avatar feature? Are there any other items you'd like Microsoft address?
Source: Phil Spencer - Twitter