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.