Google is about to embark on one of its biggest web-based experiences since Chrome OS. Later this month, it is, along with Microsoft, expected to go into deeper details about Project Stream, its own brand of game streaming technology that it tested with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey October last year. Now a new piece of the Stream dream falls into place thanks to a patent that shows how Google’s own game controller could look like.
On the one hand, game controllers have more or less become standardized these days. You have two analog sticks, four action buttons, a D-pad (or four buttons for each direction), as well as shoulder and trigger buttons. Most of the differences lie in their layout as well as the extra buttons they add on top.
Google filed for a patent for “Notifications on Game Controller” that also included images of what such a controller would look like. It has a large action button in the middle flanked by two controller buttons that could be mapped to “Home”, “Back”, or “Menu”, depending on the game. There’s also a button with a mic on it, which could be used not just for chat but possibly for integration with Google Assistant as well.
Unsurprisingly, a few talented artists have given those patent diagrams a more polished form, taking cues from Google’s own design language. Yanko Design, for example, created these renders of a predominantly white controller with black buttons and highlights in Google’s iconic quad-colors. Given how mmost game controllers lean towards black colors, this Google controller will easily stand out.
The patent itself is just as interesting as the controller it reveals. It mostly talks about notifications being received on the controller, possibly conveyed via haptic feedback. A lot of the language seems to be geared towards a client-server system that sounds a lot like a game streaming system.