The first hint comes via a patent for the game controller, which shows a publication date of January 31st, 2019. The patent shows a number of line drawings for the controller which features a traditional D-pad, twin thumb sticks, four primary buttons and a four triggers buttons. In addition to those functions, there is a Home button, a menu button, a Google button and a microphone button on the controller.
The patent [PDF] indicates that the controller provides for a “seamless activation of a game of other application on a host device” and that a “game may be launched on the host device in a response to an activation signal that is dispatched from the game controller.” The game controller itself has a built-in notification system that can notify a player of various game-related responses (i.e. chat notification, leaderboard changes, etc.).
Not to be outdone, a tweet by Reps has shown off renders for what appears to be the actual game controller itself, and it looks quite… interesting. It doesn’t look like a very ergonomic design and our hands are cramping just looking at it. But then again, looks can be deceiving, so perhaps we’ll just need to lay our hands up on it before we get too judgmental.
With that being said, this game controller is likely to be pivotal part of Google’s game streaming service, which is supposedly going to be the “Netflix of the gaming world”. Reportedly, the service will be based on the technology used to enable the Project Stream trial last year that gave gamers the chance to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey straight from their Chrome web browser.
Stay tuned, as we’re sure to learn a lot more about this controller and Google’s game streaming service at GDC.