Microsoft Just Patented Potential Mobile Xbox Controllers for xCloud

Posted on July 9, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Games with 10 Comments

Microsoft has been talking quite a lot about its game streaming service xCloud lately. And it turns out the company could be working on some hardware related to xCloud.

The company has recently patented what seems like a new controller design. Spotted first by WindowsLatest, the new patent describes a device that provides input controls for an external, touch-screen device that can be placed between the input controls. In other words, it will allow users to put a phone between the controls, allowing them to control games or the device itself using the controls on both the side of the controller. It seems like the controller could even provide a charging input for the device.

And that sounds perfect for xCloud. Microsoft has previously shown off phones attached to the existing Xbox controllers for xCloud demos, but having a controller that essentially “integrates” a phone sounds much more intuitive. In fact, as Windows Central reported a while ago, Microsoft actually toyed with the idea in the past, and they interestingly look very similar to the imagery on the latest patent:

Microsoft has a good record of turning patents into real products in the past, and this could also be something Microsoft actually turns into a real product. I mean, technically speaking, it wouldn’t be too difficult to make considering all the crazy hinges and hardware Microsoft already makes. This is more about getting the ergonomics right, so it will be interesting to see if Microsoft goes ahead with this idea.

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Microsoft Just Patented Potential Mobile Xbox Controllers for xCloud”

  1. TheJoeFin

    This looks like an Xbox version of the Nintendo Switch JoyCon, but with a bigger grip so I could play for longer than 5mins without getting a hand cramp

  2. Dan1986ist

    Would Microsoft's legal staff need to consult with Nintendo's seeing how similar this design is to the latter's JoyCon?

  3. ndragonawa

    Was about to say, looks like an Xbox take on a Switch Joy-Con. It looks like the grips are interchangeable too.

    Edit: a lol for the what looks like a Lumia in the last render; a future that was not to be.

  4. ben55124

    Is that a Lumia 950? Works best on phones with top and bottom bezels.

  5. Brazbit

    That would need a very adaptable clamping system to not be a floppy mess. I could see a lot of snapped off USBC plugs and $1500 phones flipped across the room as players tense up playing an intense game or trying to turn the controller with their car in a driving game. The Switch has an advantage in that the joycons connect solidly in dedicated grooves on both sides and no port to have to line up on like would be required on a USBC or lightning port, plus each switch is the same predictable shape where these would have to adapt to everything from a burner phone to a large phablet or even a tablet.

    I think I would much prefer clamping a device securely to the top of a controller with a cord going from the controller to the device if you want to supply power.

  6. lvthunder

    Would there be a battery in both halves of the controller?

  7. MikeGalos

    In reality, Microsoft files hundreds if not thousands of patents per year and only a tiny number become "real products". You'll note at least a dozen different and incompatible patents on how to do a folding device for example.

  8. luthair

    Doesn't this sound an awful lot like the patent Gamevice is attempting to sue Nintendo over the switch for?

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