Microsoft has been known to be extensively working on various controller prototypes for Project xCloud in the past decade. Several related patents and filings were discovered in the past couple of years alone that revealed a snappy controller attachment of sorts to make gaming on mobile devices more enjoyable. Those concepted designs, though, have now become reality.
Microsoft Research released a new video last week to demonstrate a “versatile controller” that can be split apart to be attached to the sides of a smartphone or tablet. Hence, turning the mobile device into a handheld controller with buttons for easier gaming. Take note that the controller showcased by Microsoft is based on the same design unearthed in previous Project xCloud patents and filings. In addition, a disclaimer at the start confirms the footage to be from 2012-2014.
Project xCloud will eventually be coming to Windows 10 systems, meaning that players will be in need of a controller regardless. Right now, Microsoft has been pushing its current Xbox One controller — functions like a charm on PC — but will ultimately be making way for something global like the aforementioned concept that works the same way across different devices. Since the demo was from several years back, the research department has had plenty of time to further pour in resources. Suffice to say, Project xCloud will be unveiling its new controller soon.
For those unaware, Microsoft is currently powering Project xCloud with racks fitted with current-generation Xbox One consoles. However, in the near future, Microsoft will be turning to Xbox Series X instead to power its cloud gaming streaming service. Project xCloud hosts more than fifty games at the moment, a library that Microsoft is looking to expand in the coming months. Some of the more recent games added to the library include the likes of Tekken 7, Devil May Cry 5, and Madden NFL 20. Then there are games like Soulcalibur 6, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, Hitman, Conan Exiles, Vampyr, Sniper Elite 4, and Just Cause 4, among others.
Project xCloud is now in active trial in the United Kingdom, the United States, and South Korea. The preview program will extend to more regions with time. The roll-out will be slow and expanding to additional markets like Australia will take time. Microsoft wants to do it right the first time.