Microsoft has been making several changes to its Xbox controller lineup in recent months, including the introduction of a new Xbox One Elite gamepad. We also recently discussed a patent of the company's split controller for Project xCloud.
Another newly discovered Microsoft Patent points to an Xbox One controller with more nuanced stick movements. Titled ‘TRANSFORMING A CONTROL STICK MOVEMENT SPACE', the patent was published by USPTO on July 11, 2019.
Microsoft details a controller with multiple control sticks that could feature mechanical or electrical components. Either way, the device would provide more directions axes.
“In some systems, a central dead zone may be employed in a movement space of position values. For example, a video game may define a central dead zone within the movement space. When the control stick is located in the dead zone, the position of the control stick reported to the game is ignored. In some examples, the position values of the control stick reported by the device may be adjusted to compensate for a dead zone or another sensitivity region in the movement space,” Microsoft explains.
What Microsoft is essentially proposing is a way to make small movements on the controller sticks more precise. PC gamers have long negatively compared gamepad controls against the more nuanced controls of a keyboard.
Microsoft's Xbox controller patent would bring better improvement when the thumbstick is locked in the center. Anyone who has tried making minor adjustments through a sniper scope in a first-person shooter will appreciate being able to make these precise changes more accurately.
As usual, the patent does not mean Microsoft will put the idea into production. However, it feels like this is the sort of analog improvements Microsoft could make on future Xbox controllers.