Imagine trying to hold this mockup Google controller

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Last October, we got our first look at Google’s Project Stream (opens in new tab), which let testers play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (opens in new tab) entirely in their Chrome browser thanks to cloud computing. Now, a patent has surfaced for a controller designed by Google (opens in new tab), and it’s already inspired some impressive mockups. Designer Sarang Sheth (opens in new tab) has published a collection of mockup renders (opens in new tab) based on the patent, which make the controller look pristine yet very hand-unfriendly.

The patented controller design has all the bells and whistles you’d expect: twin joysticks (mimicking the DualShock 4 layout), four face buttons, a D-pad, two bumpers, and two triggers. It’s also got a central Google button (maybe that brings you to some kind of Chrome game menu, akin to Steam’s Big Picture Mode?), a microphone button perfect for Google Assistant, and two basic menu buttons that can’t even be called Start and Select anymore, because the industry has seemingly done away with such classic conventions forever.

Image source

Image source (opens in new tab)

When I look at these impeccably crafted mockups, I can’t help but think of the bundled-in controllers for the Ouya (opens in new tab), the crowdfunded, Android-based console that all but vanished after launch. Those stubby, bulbous grips, combined with dinky joysticks and tiny buttons, seem like they’d be murder on my ol’ mitts, especially after playing for a few hours. 

That said, the color scheme modeled after Google’s logo (which just so happens to have the same colored button layout as classic Super Famicom controllers) is aesthetically appealing. And maybe it’s just me, but the many buttons in the midsection look like a friendly walrus (who’d be right at home in KO_OP Mode’s GNOG (opens in new tab)) when viewed from above, with the joysticks as little tusks. 

Of course, as with all patent filings, there’s no telling if this product will actually come to pass, and what it’ll actually look like if it does. But as our sister site TechRadar reports, Google is planning a big reveal event for the 2019 Game Developers Conference (opens in new tab) next week, so we could be hearing more about Project Stream – and maybe even get a glimpse of this patented controller design – sometime in the very near future.

Late last year, we asked the question: Is streaming the future of video games? And can it even work? (opens in new tab) 

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