That is a good question. Technically the operating systems that are used
in those game consoles are fundamentally able to run a screen reading
device. However, since the version of Linux used in the PS3 and the
version of Windows that powers the XBox are extremely stripped down and
are so customized to the point no existing screen reader for Linux or
Windows will currently run on those proprietary versions of the consoles
While I think it is technically possible for Microsoft and Sony to add
screen readers to the consoles they produce they never will.
First, there is not enough demand for it. A few hundred or thousand
blind customers doesn't mean much when they sell to millions of sighted
people each year.
Second, a screen reader wouldn't work anyway. This is going to get a bit
technical, but there is a total difference in the way a standard Windows
application like notepad, Internet Explorer, Word, whatever displays
text and the way a vidio game displays text. In vidio games often times
the text is graphically drawn to the screen and is an image of text and
not text like in applications. That is why if you go out and buy a PC
game like Tomb Raider Anniversary Jaws, Window Eyes, and NVDA just say
blank, blank, blank, or graphic, graphic, graphic even though you are in
a game launcher dialog. That is because what is displayed isn't text but
graphics saying launch game, load game, exit game, configure settings, etc.
The only way to solve that issue is to rout the text directly through to
the screen reader through its API such as the Jaws and Window Eyes API,
or to inbed something like Sapi into the game which will announce what
graphical text has focus.
So bottom line what we need is not a screen reader per say, but a TTS
engine that all games for those consoles would include into their games.
I know of some engines like Cepstral that could be ported easily to
those consoles, but lack of demand and licensing costs makes it pretty
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