Microsoft Files Patent For Hand-Held Xbox Device
Microsoft has filed a patent for a hand-held Xbox device - so that's good news, isn't it?
A patent application was submitted on 9 July for a hand-held that attaches to an existing touchscreen device, like your phone, for example. A couple of controllers clip to either side of the screen to make a complete unit that you can use to play games. Clever, eh?
The shape of the clip-on controllers means that, similar to the Nintendo Switch, the screen is left completely clear, without fingers getting in the way.
The pads feature the usual ABXY buttons, as well as a D-pad and thumb-sticks. There's also a headphone jack and stereo speakers.
Designer Sarang Sheth, from Yanko Design, took a peep at the patent and has mocked up what he reckons the new device might look like. He thinks the new controller design is linked to Microsoft's plans for Project xCloud - a cloud-based streaming service allowing gamers to play on-the-go, on a range of devices.
Sheth said: "It's pretty certain that Microsoft isn't just taking on Google's Stadia with its own cloud-based gaming service.
"[It] is also going gung-ho into the hardware side of things too, with detachable controllers you can clip to your phone for the most portable Xbox experience ever imagined!
"Based on patented designs, these conceptual Xbox Cloud controllers give us an idea of what the real thing would feel like.
"Two controller-halves clip onto either side of the phone, turning it into a handheld gaming console, complete with everything you need to play Xbox's signature titles."
As yet there are no confirmed plans for Microsoft to create or release such a device, but the fact that a patent has been filed has sent the gaming rumour-mill into overdrive.
It makes sense for Microsoft to get in on the hand-held action, given the huge success of the Nintendo Switch.
As of 31 December 2018, more than 32 million Switches had been sold across the globe.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Media Create's Atsushi Hosokawa, an expert on sales forecasts, said he reckons the Switch will be popular with consumers for another seven years before it bows out.
"We expect its life-cycle to be seven years," Hosokawa told Bloomberg, which takes the console to 2024. A bold statement when you consider how fast the world of tech and gaming moves.
With investors still keen to stump up cash, it looks as though Microsoft might be set to create a rival and scoop up some impressive sales.
Featured Image Credit: Yanko Design/Sarang Sheth