The news has been dominated in the last month by the Sony PlayStation 5 game console and the recently launched Google Stages cloud gaming service. But there are more manufacturers that focus on the gaming market. We are not talking about Microsoft and its Xbox Two under development, but about Intel.
The American brand has of course been manufacturing gaming desktops and gaming laptops for years, and the company also sees serious opportunities in the emerging phenomenon of game streaming services. Especially with the arrival of 5G, streaming games will quickly increase in popularity.
Although you no longer need a game console for cloud gaming, a controller is often useful, especially if you want to stream to a TV. Intel has already released a game controller in 2010. The Intel Wireless GamePad had a special U-shape (looked like a neck pillow) and served as a game controller for the PC. It was not a big success, but it seems that Intel sees new opportunities.
Intel game controller with touchpad control
On May 26, 2018, Intel Corporation filed a design patent with the USPTO (The United States Patent and Trademark Office) for a “Game controller having a game controller touchpad.” The documentation was published on November 19, 2019. Remarkably, the patent was already filed in China in early 2018.
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There are 10 images included, showing an Intel game controller that resembles a Sony DualShock controller in terms of button layout. The controller is equipped with a touchpad with two analog sticks directly below it. A D-Pad is placed on the left-hand side and four control buttons are positioned on the right-hand side. There are also two shoulder buttons available for both hands.
Two smaller oval buttons are placed on the left and right of the touchpad, probably the ‘select’ and ‘start’ buttons. A connection for the micro USB cable is available at the top. A round button is also placed between the two analog sticks, where a logo will probably be placed. Below are three more buttons, possibly for pausing and fast-forwarding multimedia.
Intel applied this principle earlier in 2011 when it introduced a Universal Controller in collaboration with the cloud gaming startup OnLive. The startup OnLive, however, did not make it in this heavily competitive market and was largely bought up by Sony in 2015.
Intel cloud gaming
In the meantime, Intel has become involved in the Google Stadia project. This promising cloud gaming service was launched in October 2019 and uses Intel CPUs. But that is not the only cloud gaming project that Intel is involved with. Last year it was announced that Intel had entered into a partnership with the Chinese tech giant, Tencent to set up a game streaming platform.
The cloud gaming service from Tencent is called ‘Start’ and is built on an Intel Xeon processor and an Intel Iris Pro graphics card. This service is now being tested by a selected group of users. It is quite possible that the patented Intel universal controller for this cloud service has been developed. All the more because the patent was initially filed in China.
Intel gaming has since taken on serious forms. Earlier this month the eSports Awards 2019 were presented, where Intel was awarded ‘eSports hardware provider of the year’.
Many believe that we will no longer be able to buy game consoles in the future. Gaming then runs via the cloud as standard. You then have access to your games anytime, anywhere and from almost any device. So you can always start playing immediately.
Microsoft and Sony announced in May this year to collaborate to set up a game streaming service together. Microsoft already has experience with cloud applications. Sony is also not entirely new in this area. The company has been offering the Playstation Now streaming service for several years.
Amazon is also expected to introduce a cloud gaming service next year. What the plans of Nintendo are is still unknown. Chances are that the company will also work with Microsoft or Google to set up such a service.
Intel naturally has enough in-house knowledge to deliver the hardware components needed to build a cloud service. Moreover, the manufacturer is more often at the forefront when it comes to innovation and tapping into new markets.
At the beginning of this year, Intel also patented a foldable smartphone with a stylus pen. This device with a flexible screen can be folded twice, creating an extra-large screen surface. In fact, it is an ideal tablet for cloud gaming.