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While some of the latest gaming smartphones have hardware controls on board or as accessories - most of them make do with touch and motion. Those are fine for casual gaming, but Microsoft seems to cater to serious gamers with new Xbox-like controllers.
As of now, this is just a research project but the vision is to offer Switch-like flexibility to the users. The new controllers will have analog sticks plus a D-pad or a handful of buttons on each side. They are small in size and attach to the side of the phone or tablet.
For improved ergonomics, the slide-in grips can be used. Also, the controller halves can be joined together for a more traditional experience. Using just one half could replace dedicated VR motion controllers.
Previously, Microsoft announced the Xbox Adaptive Controller for the differently abled. The device was leaked earlier this week. The controller has two big programmable buttons and 19 jacks. The jacks can be connected to a range of joysticks, switches, buttons made it easier for a wider range of users to play games.
"I can customize how I interface with the Xbox Adaptive Controller to whatever I want," says Solomon Romney, a Microsoft Store employee who is differently abled. "If I want to play a game entirely with my feet, I can. I can make the controls fit my body, my desires, and I can change them anytime I want. You plug in whatever you want and go. It takes virtually no time to set it up and use it. It could not be simpler."
The focus here is on the connectivity and customisability, with the users allowed to build a setup that works according to their capabilities. However, It won't be an all-in-one solution for many games. But through Xbox's system-level button revamping the possibilities could be endless. The new controller is priced at $99.99 and will go on sale later this year.