Xbox Accessibility: The Importance of “Day One” Inclusive Design

July 19, 2021 BY JACLYN LEDUC
Updated: August 30, 2023

There are an estimated 400 million gamers with disabilities on the planet.

For Xbox, accessibility is at the core of what they do. They are committed to creating a gaming experience that everyone can enjoy, including the 400 million individuals mentioned above. The company focuses on creating a welcoming community for all and building accessibility into gaming from day one.

With their commitment to “day one” accessibility, Xbox is setting the stage for a more inclusive gaming industry.


We spoke with Xbox at ACCESS to learn more about their approach to accessibility.

3Play Media has been a long-time admirer of Xbox’s commitment to global accessibility. Xbox, a 3Play customer, prioritizes video accessibility by offering captioning, translation, and audio description for its gaming content, such as live gaming events and marketing materials.

Xbox’s commitment to inclusion doesn’t end there. The company puts significant effort into designing accessible games and content from the start. Their approach is to prioritize accessible design from day one.

We were lucky enough to connect with Anita Mortaloni, Director of Accessibility at Microsoft, and Sean McIntyre, Product Marketing Manager at Xbox, to discuss Xbox’s accessibility approach and why “day one” accessibility is important.

Being intentionally inclusive is business-critical to meet the needs of all players.

One of Xbox’s main goals is to create a thriving community that is approachable and accessible. They aim to build a space that helps players feel safe, protected, and welcome to participate. Bringing the joy of gaming to every person on the planet is a core part of their mission, and “day one” accessibility is crucial to making their mission a reality.

“Day one” accessibility – building accessibility in from the start.

Xbox is all about offering experiences that everyone can enjoy. The “day one” approach to Xbox accessibility ensures that they provide the best experience for more people from the get-go.

This model of accessible design maximizes the number of people who can share the experience and sets businesses up for long-term success.

Create so that the most people possible can enjoy your product.

Xbox knows that accessibility is needed to provide an equivalent experience for people with disabilities. Beyond that, they also recognize that accessibility gives all gamers the capability to play how and where they want and is beneficial to a wide range of people.

Take closed captions, for example. Of course, captions are a necessary accommodation for people who are deaf and hard of hearing to participate in auditory experiences. However, hearing people can find great use in captions, too. If a headset isn’t connecting or if there’s a sleeping child in the room, captions allow people to still get the whole experience of the game or content.

Xbox works with 3Play Media to help meet their accessibility goals.

Because Xbox highly prioritizes accessibility, they sometimes require urgent solutions with fast turnaround times. They know that AI and automated translations and transcription provide less than the desired accuracy. However, they can turn to 3Play Media for a reliable and quality solution.

We worked with 3Play Media…because we had a virtual press briefing…that I had 36 hours to get in. We did eight languages and audio descriptions. I came to 3Play with an urgent request, and 3Play was able to help and do a great job at helping us get that out there.Sean McIntyre, Product Marketing Manager, Xbox

What can we learn from Xbox accessibility?

Even in today’s digital-forward world, it’s rare to find companies that are pushing the envelope in terms of globalized accessibility. Xbox is setting a powerful example on the importance of accessible design.

If there’s anything we can learn from Xbox, it’s to look at accessibility in a new light. Accessibility is an opportunity to create better experiences for more people, maximize your product’s impact, and position your brand as innovative and inclusive.

By implementing a “day one” accessibility approach as Xbox does, brands can contribute to greater global accessibility, community connection, and inclusion.

Watch the full Fireside Chat with Xbox and 3Play Media:

3Play Media logo

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