A Microsoft prototype mobile controller has surfaced with some details as part of Microsoft’s Project xCloud gaming service.
As mainstream gaming begins to take to the cloud this year, beginning with Google Stadia, it seems that at least Microsoft is developing some new technologies to use with the future of gaming as a service.
Some very interesting information, along with impressive design documentation has surfaced on the web in recent days in the form of a prototype controller from Microsoft that can be used with any compatible mobile device.
It appears that the controller, which seems like a strange mixture of Xbox’s, PS4’s and Switch’s controllers, can be split into two pieces for left and right.
This then allows each piece to be clipped on to the left and right side of the mobile device, effectively turning your phone or tablet into a Nintendo Switch-like machine.
The left side of the controller contains the D-Pad, left thumbstick and left bumpers, while the right side contains the right thumbstick, action buttons, and right bumpers.
Interestingly though, the grips for the controller come in different sizes which allows for different usage capability, such as, mentioned in the design document, the right grip being extended for augmented reality.
This is the latest in Microsoft’s Project xCloud service technical demonstrations, which aims to merge ancillary gaming and streaming technologies with traditional and powerful console game hardware.
In simpler terms, you may be able to play Xbox One games that you own on a mobile device via cross-platform streaming, something which has been around for a while but has only just begun to garner the attention of focused development.
Gaming services such as this may need to be developed by big-name companies such as Sony and Microsoft as Google is set to enter the gaming market in November with it’s very ambitious Google Stadia project.
Google Stadia aims to offer high fidelity gaming up to 8K via game streaming from their own servers, basically a gaming version of Netflix.
This type of technology is being dubbed as “the future of gaming”, however, Google will need to offer some great exclusives if they are to compete with traditional and long-standing brands like PlayStation and Xbox, otherwise, they are just offering another service of games that have already been released.
To most gamers, this may be seen as just another service that they have to pay for, as more and more publishers such as EA, Ubisoft, and Epic are developing their own gaming as a service platform based on the model established by Steam.
The only advantage I can currently see to Google Stadia is that no storage space is required for games, which are becoming very large indeed.
As of yet, there is no word on the release date of this intriguing device.
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Many thought that his youth (and adulthood) playing video games was a waste of time but here he is writing about them for a living.
Michael has a background in IT and enjoys (apart from video games) building and repairing PC’s, digital artwork (Photoshop, 3DS Max) and has interests in too many subjects to mention.