New Jersey native Peter Byrne loves playing video games. Specifically, he loves playing his PlayStation 4. There was one small problem, though - Byrne has cerebral palsy that affects his left side. That meant whenever his tremors would cause him to accidentally touch the PS4 controller's touchpad, pausing whatever game he was in. “When I play, I would hit the touchpad with my hand,” Byrne, 21, told local news outlet, News 12 New Jersey, “It’s very sensitive, [so] it would pause the game.”
Eventually, the issue got so distracting that Byrne reached out to Sony, where he was told by marketing team member Alex Nawabi that they would look into his controller issues and see if they could find a solution. As there were no official PlayStation resources for this particular problem, Nawabi took matters into his own hands.
Byrne's plight hit the marketing employee hard. "It killed me to hear how something you used to enjoy thoroughly was being ruined because of our new controller design," he wrote to Byrne.
It took Alex Nawabi ten hours and three attempts to create a modified PlayStation 4 controller for Peter Byrne. The specialized version disables the touchpad and reroutes its button functionality to a new position on the back of the controller. Nawabi warned Byrne that the controller was not covered under warranty, but that he was prepared to make another for Byrne if the first should break.
"I'm not 100% sure how long it will last, as it's the first time I've ever done anything like this," he wrote. "I have plans to build you one more controller in case this one breaks but I'd like feedback on this one first."
Byrne is thrilled with his new controller which hasn't broken yet. You can read Byrne's version of the story on this Facebook post.