Microsoft's recently-released research papers reveal that the company is experimenting on an adjustable, Xbox-style grip controller that can be attached to mobile phones and tablets. Conducted between 2012 and 2014, the documents reveal the mobile controllers' key design goal is "to combine a compact and convenient-to-carry form factor with the ease-of-use, control, and comfort of a traditional physical controller."
The research papers also came with various images of prototypes of the would-be controllers. They are seen to be using a two-hinged "clip-on" mechanism that is attached to both bezels of a smartphone. In addition, these "fragmented" controllers can also be used whether the device is in its usual portrait mode and a landscape orientation. They are also adjustable, designed in various sizes, and come in interchangeable grips. Ultimately, the main takeaway of these controllers is to provide comfort while a legitimate mobile gaming is achieved.
Elsewhere, the paper also details that the controllers can be removed from the dock for just a single-hand use. Consequently, such a mechanism that can work well with virtual and augmented reality features.
In related news, Microsoft has also announced that Project xCloud, its game-streaming service, is now scheduled to receive beta next year. And while the experimented controllers are evidently still in the lab, it would be a shame if the company would not push through with them as its newly-revealed game-streaming platform could benefit largely with this as they could help take the service into mainstream gaming.
Finally, touch-based inputs, while still popular and efficient. Have now become a bit of a half-way solution to emerging gaming titles that are oftentimes demanding down the line. Now is just the right time to come up with controllers that are rightfully designed for games that otherwise require a more responsive and tactile inputs – features that are still evidently scarce in this budding mobile gaming niche.
- Images from microsoft.com