The recent reveal of Microsoft’s upcoming streaming service Project xCloud showed us that the company is planning to bring high-quality game streaming to mobile devices. Now, they’re also looking to bring a new form of the Xbox controller to smartphones and tablets.
New Microsoft Research papers posted by Windows Central shows the new prototypes. They are currently 3D printed and based on conceptual renders. With a two-part design, the controller splits in half and can then be attached to both sides of your smartphone, tablet or other devices allowing you to hold it steady while you play. The two halves can also be attached to a charging dock which attaches through a (presumably) USB-C connection.
The research papers detail Microsoft’s inspirations: the PSP, Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo Switch. Idealized for their inclusion of utilizing a full control pad instead of just using touch controls, like most console handhelds, Microsoft claims that the Switch’s success is a “testament to the value of mobile gaming with physical controls.” Let’s be honest, if we had to play Red Dead Redemption 2 with touch controls only, it would feel like Hell.
With the success of the Nintendo Switch and Sony’s self-removal from the world of handheld consoles, Xbox could presumably take their place even if it’s through mobile game streaming.
These controllers do make sense: gamers have long argued that touch controls limit the amount of precision you can give the player, despite how intuitive they are. With a high-quality controller add-on provided by Microsoft, this could be a worthwhile alternative to some of the other controllers available for Android and IOS.
Source: Windows Central