Earlier this month, Microsoft announced plans to bring console-quality games to smartphones. Dubbed "Project xCloud," the idea behind the service is to allow everyone to be able to play Xbox exclusive titles without the need for owning an Xbox. Going further, it could even open gaming up to people that never considered grabbing a dedicated piece of hardware.
Many people were left wondering how that would work. Most games require far more commands than a touchscreen is capable of reproducing. While modern gamepads do offer Bluetooth connectivity, lugging around a full-sized Xbox controller with you to pair with your phone is not really ideal. Is Microsoft concocting some kind of solution for this?
The answer is a resounding yes, as evidenced by some recently uploaded Microsoft Research papers. Seemingly taking a page out of Nintendo's book, Microsoft is prototyping ideas for a split gamepad that will attach to the side of your phone or tablet. The idea actually dates back to 2014, though it seems Microsoft is now more interested in pursuing the venture.