According to recent Microsoft Research papers, the company is working on Xbox Controllers for smartphones and tablets. The controllers are supposedly to tackle mediocre touch-controls on the aforementioned devices, probably to prep them for Project xCloud.
The specific Microsoft Research paper (via WC) explains how these controllers would help fix touch-control limitations similar to the Sony PSP and Nintendo Switch:
As smartphones and tablets have become pervasive, so has mobile gaming. Not surprisingly, popular games for these platforms are focused on touchscreen-based interaction. However, many types of game are less well-suited to mobile devices. Despite systems like AdaptControl which can adapt to the ‘drift’ typically occurring when using virtual on-screen controls, touchbased emulations of traditional gaming controls like Dpads, buttons & joysticks are often unsatisfactory.
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. A number of cheaper products allow a smartphone to be clipped into or onto a modified handheld gaming controller; these include the ION iCade mobile, the GameCase, the GameVice and products from Moga. However, the fixed form of these accessories means they are bulky and inflexible.
Do note that these are just prototypes for now, with there being a chance of them not coming to market at all. Microsoft prototypes hundreds of devices each yeah in an effort to test what would “work”.
What do you thing of these Xbox Controllers for Smartphones and Tablets? Let us know in the comments below.