A new patent filed by Microsoft details a new design for ‘removable game controllers’ that could function akin to Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers.As reported by Windows Latest, the patent was filed by Microsoft in 2017, but has only just been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent itself is for a charging device, but the ‘removeable input modules’ the device charges are controllers that can be attached to a touch-screen mobile device.
Illustrations in the patent show the basic structure of a traditional Xbox controller that can be split into two halves. When in the charging device, they appear more like a traditional controller, akin to how Joy-Cons look when docked into the controller peripheral.
The modules are designed to be attached to handheld devices in a way that prevents obscuring too much of the screen. The images show what appears to be two modules clamped to the bezels of a tablet, creating a Switch-like setup. The patent describes that the controller modules can be removed when the user has finished playing, and then re-attached when they want to resume play. The patent notes that the controller could be attached to the same or a different touch screen device, suggesting that the controllers are not designed for exclusive use on a single system.
The patent may possibly be linked to Microsoft’s xCloud steaming service. At E3 this year we played Halo 5 on xCloud, using a Samsung phone that was attached to Xbox controllers. At the time we described the rigging of the two devices to be “pre-beta” like, and it seemed likley that a more bespoke solution would eventually be used. With xCloud able to run on things like phones and tablets, a controller that can clip onto the sides of the device to create a Switch-like set up seems a sensible approach.
If this is indeed the case, then this patent could be the equivalent of the Google Stadia controller, which is also designed to be used with a multitude of devices.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter.SOURCE: IGN.com