If recent patent applications are worth considering, then Microsoft has yet to concede the mobile gaming market.
The filing is for a game controller device that can be split apart and then attached to a tablet or smartphone. The controller would then be mapped to game functions and controls, thus giving controls more akin to a console than a touchscreen.
It is understandable that Microsoft would want to get into the mobile gaming market, but this approach may be questionable on several aspects. Microsoft has long struggled with the mobile market as a whole, and not just with mobile gaming. The Nokia acquisition has done little to this point to change that, and while the Surface itself has struggled since its introduction, trying to sell it as an alternative gaming device may further its identity crisis. When a device that is supposed to be a tablet or laptop has yet to find a home in either market, it would be hard to sell a peripheral for it.
Even outside of Microsoft itself, the mobile gaming market may be plateauing on its own. Tablet sales have stopped growing as many people have already adopted the devices and see little need to replace them. Even Sony is seeing a lack-luster response to the Vita as it is still struggling after two years on the market. Other platforms, like the NVidia Shield, have yet to take off as well.
Microsoft will most likely need to improve and innovate more if it wants into the mobile gaming arena. It would be a poor strategy if they plan to have this device be the draw to get console gamers to spend on mobile platforms.
Many of times have I thought of breaking a controller in half but I’ve never thought of doing anything like this once I broke it. Would you want something like Microsoft is proposing? Or do you already have a few broken controllers that could be repurposed?
Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found here at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!