With Microsoft set to launch the xCloud streaming service on a vast range of connected devices later this year, you just know some innovative mobile-friendly game controllers are likely to follow.
Now, the company has patented controllers that look very similar to the designs originally showcased in an internal research paper in October last year. There’s a pair of clip-on pieces, together containing each of the key elements of an Xbox controller, while they can be affixed to a charging dock in the same way as a Switch Joy-Con.
The images appearing in the parent filing spotted by Windows Latest and reported by Windows Central shows the prototype designs – initially made from foam and 3D printed – are moving a step closer to potentially becoming Microsoft’s go-to solution for xCloud accessories to mobile devices.
Related: Microsoft Project xCloud latest
Within that research paper, Microsoft pointed out its designs had been specifically inspired by Nintendo’s success with the Switch, which essentially offers mobile gaming without the hassle and finickiness of touchscreen controls.
The research paper stated: “Mobile gaming devices like the Sony PlayStation Portable and Nintendo’s DS and Switch are dedicated mobile gaming platforms which overcome these limitations via physical controls. The success of the Switch is testament to the value of mobile gaming with physical controls. A number of cheaper products allow a smartphone to be clipped into or onto a modified handheld gaming controller; these include the ION iCade mobile, the GameCase, the GameVice and products from Moga. However, the fixed form of these accessories means they are bulky and inflexible.”
xCloud promises to bring the experience of high-end Xbox gaming to virtually any display with free access to games Xbox owners already possess, while there’ll be standalone subscription options for those without a console. Microsoft is yet to reveal pricing and release date.