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Microsoft toying with mobile device Xbox-style gaming controllers

Microsoft's prototype controller is modular and has an Xbox flavor to it. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft's prototype controller is modular and has an Xbox flavor to it. (Source: Microsoft)
Although Microsoft has killed off its smartphone line, the company is still interested in tapping into the handheld gaming space. One of its latest research projects is focused on customer reaction to bringing physical controllers to smartphones and tablets. hinting at possible plans for the near future.
Sanjiv Sathiah,
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Microsoft may have given up on mobile phones, at least for the time being, but it isn’t oblivious to the popularity of mobile gaming. While many thought in the era of the smartphone that standalone handheld gaming devices might be dead in the water, the Nintendo Switch has proven the naysayers wrong. The reason probably has to do with the fact that just using touchscreens for controlling the action on a smartphone just isn’t as satisfying as using physical controls.

Microsoft Research set out to test this theory and built some modular gaming controllers with an Xbox-style look that can be used with both smartphones and tablets. At the most basic level, the controllers attach to either side of a device with an analog stick for each side as well as a D-pad on one side and buttons on the other. To these can be attached slide-in hand grips to give additional support and ease of use.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft’s test subjects reported that gaming in this way was more satisfying that just interacting with games using only touch controls. The project doesn’t hint at any standalone Xbox tablet to go with the controllers, but is indicative of at least one strategy that Microsoft could take to get in on the mobile gaming action. A set of Xbox-branded controllers to go along with deeper, custom games or Xbox ports could just work.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1254 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 10 > Microsoft toying with mobile device Xbox-style gaming controllers
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2018-10-30 (Update: 2018-10-30)