Microsoft is researching the possibility of releasing Xbox style controllers for smartphones and tablets.
With its cloud gaming service, Project xCloud, planned for beta launch next year, the company has come to the conclusion that touchscreen controls are not ideal when it comes to triple-A console-like gaming.
The service is expected to be available for multiple devices, including phones and tablets, so those wanting a better experience will be seeking better input solutions. You can't be expected to play Red Dead Redemption 2 or the like using on-screen buttons. Even a standard Bluetooth controller adds lag and considering latency is already an issue to overcome for a successful cloud gaming service, you don't want to add extra timing issues through the controls.
That's why Microsoft has created a research paper looking into the possibility of creating its own gamepads for mobile gaming.
It cites the Nintendo Switch and its Joy-Cons as fine examples of how attachable accessories can work well: "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," it says in the paper, as reported by Windows Central.
The controllers pictured are dummies created through 3D printing but show how they could work.
Even without a cloud gaming platform, such as Project xCloud, many would welcome new, dedicated controllers from one of the best gaming companies in the business - especially with the rise of gaming-centric smartphones, such as the Honor Play, Razer Phone 2 and Asus ROG Phone.