Google is hard at work on a game streaming service called Project Stream, and we might just have caught our first look at some of the hardware for it - specifically a gaming controller in a newly published Google patent.
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The company launched a Project Stream trial platform in partnership with Ubisoft previous year which allowed participants to play Assassin's Creed: Odyssey in their Chrome browser. That said, there are two interesting buttons in the middle.
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Google filed for a patent for "Notifications on Game Controller" that also included images of what such a controller would look like. In addition to those functions, there is a Home button, a menu button, a Google button and a microphone button on the controller. 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.
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The diagrams for the Google controller (which Thurrott noticed yesterday) aren't particularly special or surprising: they show the kind of wireless, two-handed, dual-thumbstick design with the standard array of face buttons, D-pad, and triggers we've become accustomed to over the last few console generations. Unfortunately, even though the renders have been professionally crafted (and clearly based on the patent's drawings and text), reception for the controller has been pretty harsh, with many on Twitter comparing the hardware accessory with the ungainly controller that came with the failed Ouya console.
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You can play it with either a keyboard and a mouse, or an attached controller, but this patent is the first look we've been given at some potentially Google-branded devices that might accompany the cloud gaming service. It mostly talks about notifications being received on the controller, possibly conveyed via haptic feedback.