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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:01pm 30/10/18 | 0 Comments
Microsoft recently unveiled plans to tackle streaming Xbox One games to any streamable device: console, PC, phone or tablet utilising its Azure data centres, in a bid to expand up on their already-successful Netflix-like game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass.

Now in addition to that vision, it looks like some old research around controllers for any such device streaming has resurfaced, and these actually look very usable in conjunction with Project xCloud.

Spotted by the folks over at Windows Central, these research controllers were 3D printed from foam designs but tend to look at various options from an ergonomic perspective, as well as from a functionality perspective, as you can see (more largely) by clicking here.

The report notes that these designs are actually quite old -- from 2014, but that notation around them has been updated to include talk of the success of Nintendo Switch and its Joy-Con controllers for mobile gaming:
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.
In all honesty, these designs look more than workable, and if we get the promised quality of game service streaming from Project xCloud, we could be about to enter a new fray as far as what "mobile gaming" actually means.

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