Xbox controller

Microsoft might be developing a new input overlay that will allow mobile gamers to play games with controller attachment. A new patent application from the tech giant details a ‘removable game controllers’ for mobile devices.

Spotted by us, the patent titled ‘Charging device for removable input modules’ was filed by Redmond-based Microsoft in 2017 and published by USPTO on July 9, 2019. The patent applications and drawings detail a removable controller for¬†mobile/handheld devices (such as smartphones, tablet computers, portable games consoles).

Microsoft talks about two removable input modules which can be attached to a mobile device or touch-screen to provide input controls. The inventor says that the input modules can be removed and it has been designed in such a way that it will obscure very little or none of the display area.

“The inputs are mapped to software running on the touch-screen computing device and where the touch-screen device is a peripheral (i.e. a touch-screen peripheral device) for a computing device (e.g. a touch-sensitive display for a desktop computer), the inputs are mapped to software running on that computing device,” the detailed description of the patent reads.

Controllers patent
Image Courtesy: USPTO / Microsoft

The detachable game controllers can be connected to the device directly or via wireless technologies.

“Subsequently (e.g. when the user has finished interacting with the touch-screen device or when the module is not needed), the module can be detached from the touch-screen device 108 and stored until it is next used by the user (e.g. connected to the same touch-screen device or a different touch-screen device),” Microsoft explains.

Input controllers patent
Image Courtesy: USPTO / Microsoft

In the long description section of the patent, Microsoft also revealed that the input modules are¬†powered by a “rechargeable power source”. There is also a charging device which comprises a charging mechanism (or arrangement) for charging the input modules.