Now that the calendar has shifted from May to June, Pride month has officially kicked off. In support of LGBTQIA+ communities, Microsoft will be donating money to charity, selling a new controller design, and more to celebrate.
Starting on June 9, the faceplate design you see above will be available in the Xbox Design Lab as a customization option through the end of the month. Inspired by Pride, the faceplate incorporates 34 flags representing different LGBTQIA+ groups. Xbox has put together a site highlighting each flag on the controller. Because this is an Xbox Design Lab promotion, and in the spirit of diversity, you can freely customize the rest of the controller like you would with any other product in the Design Lab, including colors for grips, triggers, d-pad, analog sticks, and buttons.
The controller customization comes as a result of a limited design given out to a handful of people last year. The blog post announcing Xbox’s Pride plans describes the decision to make this year’s design wildly available, saying, “Last year, Xbox shared a vision for a Pride controller. We produced a limited batch of Pride controllers and shared it with LGBTQIA+ players and creators around the world. While the response to the controller was very positive, many asked us to make this design universally available. We heard you, and we’re expanding availability by making this year’s Pride controller customizable through Xbox Design Lab, specifically underscoring the uniqueness of the LGBTQIA+ experience.”
In addition to the Pride controllers, even more Pride merch like shirts and hoodies are now available on the Xbox Gear store, so you can show your support and add a little more color to your wardrobe.
Most importantly, Microsoft will be making donations to charities that help LGBTQIA+ communities. According to the blog post, Microsoft is “contributing an additional $170,000 to OutRight Action International, African Rainbow Family, National Center for Transgender Equality, Mermaids, Lavender Rights Project and Fulcrum UA to help in the fight for LGBTQIA+ equity and equality.” Similarly, another $25,000 is being donated each to Transgender Law Center and Trans Lifeline to help combat the wave of anti-trans sentiment in the United States, while also making Don’t Nod’s game Tell Me Why free to play until the end of June.
The rest of Xbox’s Pride plans can be seen at the company’s blog post here.
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