Microsoft is researching a new type of Xbox controller for various devices

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Windows Central is reporting that tech giant Microsoft is hard at work to bridge the gap between traditional controllers for consoles/PC and mobile devices which traditionally rely on touch input. From research papers and patent designs by Microsoft, this new Xbox controller are highly-reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch.

We’re at the dawn of a new console generation. Both Microsoft and Sony have openly talked about their next gaming systems, albeit without showing them or going into explicit detail, but it’s highly likely that both companies will be fully unveiling them either later this year or at the latest next year. Industry insiders are also expecting both systems to come out next year. While a new console generation usually comes with more powerful hardware, this time the changes are looking to be more massive. Game streaming is undoubtedly going to be a big part of the future of games, and both Microsoft and Sony have announced their intentions to support the futuristic way of streaming games via the cloud in a big way. But with streaming comes also new challenges.

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In this day and age, everyone owns smartphones and tablets, but not everyone owns a game console. To enable the largest possible pool of players, platform holders have to venture out the traditional home game console paradigm. Streaming also allows lower-powered devices like phones, tablets and TVs to play even the most cutting-edge games.

One crucial missing element is a unified control method however, and Microsoft is trying to solve just that. While touch controls are fine for mobile games, the lack of tactile thumbsticks, bumpers and buttons makes touch devices still a hard sell for hardcore gamers. According to research papers and patents by Microsoft, the big tech company is working on a flexible Xbox controller which remind us of the Nintendo Switch Joycons. They still offer all the buttons and sticks from regular controllers but split them in half, and enable them to be fixated to tablets or phones. Just like the Joycons, both halves can also be joined together to form a standard controller.

Whether this radical new design will ever come out as a consumer product isn’t certain yet. Neither whether it will be the standard Xbox controller for the next Xbox console, but one thing is sure. This new design would change the playing field for an entire new device market.


 

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