Over the weekend, a peculiar-looking controller with a familiar G in the middle was leaked on social media. Apparently, Google is looking to join the gaming console business and will reveal their entry into this competitive market at Game Developers Conference (GDC.)
It looks about the same as most contemporary controllers - two analog sticks, a directional pad, four face buttons, and two sets of shoulder buttons (bumpers and triggers) on the top. We’re not reinventing the wheel here - Microsoft and Sony have already perfected the modern controller for the most part and generally any deviation from these comfy layouts is met with some resistance. If you recall, the Steam controller tried (and failed) to innovate with their weird touch-D-pad things. It could very well be among the ugliest and most difficult controllers to use (though there are worse.)
Although it’s got the right look, some members of the gaming community still had some comments. One from Arin “Egoraptor” Hanson, star of the YouTube series Game Grumps, had his own criticism of a mocked-up version of the controller.
I forced a bot to look at 1,000 video game controllers and then made it design its own. pic.twitter.com/NQ4XKU1U5Z— Arin Hanson, my dear (@egoraptor) March 10, 2019
Not great. And according to this tweet from user @michelmcbride, it’s also not very accessible to those with color-blindness.
New google controller. It's okay, I'm sure they checked that these face buttons were distinguishable to for the colour-blind without a symbol let me ju—oh my god. (Protanopia, Deuteranopia, Tritanopia) pic.twitter.com/afUwFZp1e5— email@example.com (Mastodon) (@michelmcbride) March 9, 2019
So, maybe there are a few kinks to work out before the console releases?
What Do We Know?
We’ll find out more about the new Google game-streaming platform, which Google promises will be the “Netflix of gaming,” next week at GDC. We do know that this is the same platform that allowed Project Stream users to play Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey right from their Google Chrome browsers. We’ll also know that they’ll be very aggressive in establishing exclusives (or popular titles) for their new platform - the tentatively titled, “Yeti” - so expect to see some killer titles on March 19. A nice mix of AAA, indie, and even some “freemium” mobile games would do the system well. We think something like the Nintendo Switch’s library would benefit the new Google platform substantially.
Until then, all we can do is speculate and criticize the controller. Because what else is the Internet good for?