Leaked illustrations show that Microsoft is currently working on a new prototype controller for possible use with mobile devices. With the company aiming to bring console-level gaming to the mobile platform through their Project xCloud initiative, it makes plenty of sense for them to embark on this endeavor.
The leaked research documents show that the Xbox-like prototype controller works by being attached to the sides of the mobile device, which is similar to the joy cons on the Nintendo Switch. The leaked materials say that "the success of the Switch is testament to the value of mobile gaming with physical controls."
The documentation shows that Microsoft has been working with several designs of a new controller that use the slide-in concept that aim to be flexible and lightweight compared to other third-party controller solutions in the market right now.
The level of credibility of this information is a little higher because Microsoft actually filed patents for new controller designs and concepts recently. Initial documentation of Microsoft's experiments with their prototype controllers began late last year.
The prototypes made by Microsoft are made from foam since it can be easily formed and then the final concept was manufactured using 3D printers. Microsoft is always at work on new game consoles and controller concepts, so this shouldn't come as a surprise.
Since the leaks show that the controllers are still under development, it could be a long time before we actually see this in the flesh. It's important to note though that just because Microsoft has filed a patent and is working on prototypes, it doesn't mean that this will see the light of day, so we'll have to wait and see at this point. But considering that the Xbox One Elite Gamepad is considered one of the best game controllers in the market, we can't help but to remain optimistic with this new mobile device controller concept.
Microsoft is busy working on their Touch Adaptation Kit for xCloud so that they can get it out to game developers and make the games more touch-friendly, so it could be a possible sign that it's only a matter of time before we experience console-level games on mobile devices.