8BitDo’s new Bluetooth controller aims to make gaming accessible for everyone

It lays flat, stays put, and has all the buttons on the face

Despite the rhetoric in some darker corners of the internet, video games are for everyone. Unfortunately, not all gamers have the manual dexterity or strength to hold a standard game controller. That’s where 8BitDo’s new Lite SE comes in. It’s been designed with accessibility in mind and costs just $35, much less than other limited mobility controllers.

The impetus for the Lite SE came from a Swedish man named Andreas Karlsson. He built several hacked-together game controllers for his son, Oskar, who lives with a muscular disorder that limits his mobility. After contacting 8BitDo to propose a more accessible controller, the company came up with the Lite SE.

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The 8BitDo Lite SE is just another Bluetooth controller as far as your phone is concerned. You can pair it with Android, the Nintendo Switch, or a Raspberry Pi to get all the standard controller inputs. The hardware, however, is much different than your average controller. Instead of holding it in your hands, the 8BitDo Lite SE sits flat on a table, and there’s a rubberized bottom to keep it from moving around. It also supports vibration, which many cheaper controllers do not.

All the buttons are on the face, even those that are usually placed as triggers on the edges, and they have less resistance than standard controllers. The thumbsticks, which are symmetrical on the Lite SE, don’t click. Instead, the L3 and R3 functions are presented as separate buttons next to the sticks.

8BitDo lists Android, Switch, and Raspberry Pi compatibility on its site. Although, as a Bluetooth controller, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on other platforms. It charges over USB-C and can run for 18 hours on a charge; it comes with a USB cable, but most Android users probably have a mountain of USB-C cables by now. You can pre-order the controller from 8BitDo now. Shipping is slated for July 15th.

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