Android gaming gets a boost with Honor GamePad, Xbox USB controller support

Before game streaming services like Google Stadia and Microsoft Project xCloud stole the spotlight, mobile gaming was the big thing in the tech industry, where anyone and everyone tries to make a big or at least quick buck from anyone will to pay for IAPs. Despite the proliferation of titles, mobile gaming, unlike their desktop or console counterparts, mobile gaming hasn't been big on accessories, especially controllers. That situation may be improving soon with Honor's launch of its own GamePad and upcoming support for Xbox's latest Elite controller.

To be fair, controllers are less critical than on consoles or even some PC games. Most mobile games are perfectly fine with touch controls. In fact, many don't even support alternative input methods. But with the rise of the ability to play non-mobile games on mobile devices, the need for controller supportt will also rise.

Some smartphone makers have started creating gaming-specific accessories for gaming phones, like ASUS' ROG Phone and Xiaomi's Black Shark. Honor, however, doesn't even have a dedicated gaming phone but it has surprisingly created a GamePad for smartphones. It's a one-sided affair, like the earlier Black Shark gamepad but could also be more compatible with other phones.

A source code change in Android also suggests that support for the Xbox Elite wireless Controller is adding USB support. Previously it won't even recognize the peripheral when connected via the simplest channel but that could soon be fixed. Unfortunately, wireless support is still out of the question as it doesn't use Bluetooth.

These will hardly be game-changing news, pun intended, but it could at least hint at the general trend in the mobile industry. Mobile gaming could get a major boost when streaming services, be it over the Internet or even locally, become the spotlight in the days and weeks to come as services launch to test the viability of this new form of gaming.