Apple's engineers have been exploring ways to bring a better game controller experience to future iDevices, especially the iPad. The first is the smartest approach by bringing cool backside touch controls to the iPad. The second is with an attachable gamepad accessory. This week the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Microsoft that reveals that they're thinking of introducing an Xbox-like gaming controller that could be split in two so that each half can be clipped to future Surface tablets. Bringing Xbox gaming to mobile devices with a familiar controller might be a way to boost Surface tablet sales that are slumping. So the race is on. Who'll be first to deliver their mobile gamepad solution to market? Only time will tell.
One of Microsoft's latest inventions relate to a set of reconfigurable clip-on modules for mobile computing devices includes two or more modules and at least one of the modules has an input button or other control and at least one of the modules could communicate with the computing device wirelessly with the need to use a USB connector.
For more on this invention, see Patently Mobile's full report.