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MSFT Patents Dual, Wired and Wireless Controller

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 35 comments

Microsoft has patented a type of dual controller that is both wired and wireless.

There are pros and cons to wired and wireless controllers. With the former, you know you're not going to run out of battery mid-game, but you can't really go very far. A wireless controller allows for a lot more movement, but you might find yourself low on controller juice at a pivotal part of the game.

A patent filed by Microsoft with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this year attempts to solve this dilemma by being both wireless and wired. By the sounds of things, you'll be able to switch while you're playing and the controller would be able to inform currently played game to flip between the two. SlashGear reports that the game wouldn't need to be paused, and it could automatically keep track of which controller goes with which player (and their accompanying saved games). 

Check out the patent here.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    jdubsbooth , July 20, 2010 11:46 PM
    So it's just like the PS3 controller...?
  • 18 Hide
    CoderDunn , July 20, 2010 11:53 PM
    Isn't the patent system awesome? /s
  • 13 Hide
    kyeana , July 20, 2010 11:47 PM
    Why not just have it be wireless, and let you charge it to plug it in while playing?

    This seems overly complex to me :p 
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    jdubsbooth , July 20, 2010 11:46 PM
    So it's just like the PS3 controller...?
  • 13 Hide
    kyeana , July 20, 2010 11:47 PM
    Why not just have it be wireless, and let you charge it to plug it in while playing?

    This seems overly complex to me :p 
  • 4 Hide
    nonameworks , July 20, 2010 11:53 PM
    This is standard on PS3, look out Sony
  • 18 Hide
    CoderDunn , July 20, 2010 11:53 PM
    Isn't the patent system awesome? /s
  • 1 Hide
    pharge , July 20, 2010 11:58 PM
    Hope SONY does have its own patents on PS3 controller.... or... it will be the rise of another patent war!
  • 1 Hide
    maigo , July 21, 2010 12:15 AM
    kyeanaWhy not just have it be wireless, and let you charge it to plug it in while playing?This seems overly complex to me

    Exactly this
    It seems pointless unless you know solar flares are about to knock out your wireless
  • 6 Hide
    maestintaolius , July 21, 2010 12:25 AM
    Well, it's a continuation of the 2004 application, so it's not like it was JUST submitted. My guess is it's another defensive patent to block the NPEs that have sued sony, nintendo and ms in the past over fairly obvious designs hoping for a settlement (Fenner Investments, Eleven Engineering, Immerson, Anascape and so on and on and on). MS would never use this to go after Sony or Nintendo because: 1 - there's plenty of prior art that any company with decent lawyers could use, 2 - it's generally not a good use of capital to sue someone else who also has lots of capital on a case you'd be unlikely to win (see 1), 3 - if they sue sony or nintendo it'll be likely they'd come back with their own patent infringement suits because, as well all know, there's nothing new under the sun (man is just a hairless ape who figured out round things roll and how to put fire in a box and most everything invented has been permutations on those ideas :p ). This stuff is as silly as the patent on "slide to unlock" (heck, the Predator had "slide to unlock" on his wrist computer self destruct dealie when he tried to kill Arnie).
  • 0 Hide
    jaysbob , July 21, 2010 12:35 AM
    can't you already buy an accessory that will let you do just this?
  • 3 Hide
    lukeeu , July 21, 2010 12:56 AM
    kyeanaWhy not just have it be wireless, and let you charge it to plug it in while playing?This seems overly complex to me

    Already patented.
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , July 21, 2010 1:15 AM
    I think the next big thing will be an external charge/wired station that can transmit over longer distances having a true wired power source. Though I am not sure about delays of having a separate station to receive and then retransmit to the console itself. Still though, that is what I would want.
  • 0 Hide
    scione , July 21, 2010 2:09 AM
    It seems like what microsoft has with its controllers being wireless but being able to be plugged in with a usb connector
  • -1 Hide
    subgum , July 21, 2010 2:22 AM
    Why is this news?
  • 2 Hide
    NathanTR , July 21, 2010 2:29 AM
    The wireless controllers for the 360 have done this since launch. The controller changes power source when plugged into a USB port, but it still transmits in wireless mode, uninterrupted.
  • 0 Hide
    Aionism , July 21, 2010 3:08 AM
    This is just a way for them to charge you the same amount of money for a controller whether you want wired or wireless.
  • 1 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , July 21, 2010 3:19 AM
    NathanTRThe wireless controllers for the 360 have done this since launch. The controller changes power source when plugged into a USB port, but it still transmits in wireless mode, uninterrupted.


    Yeah, but that's saying it can send the game data over the wire while plugged in.

    The only thing that this stops (if you like it going over the wire anyway) is the ability to plug the controller into a closer laptop for power. You can even not use any sort of battery pack that way. For some reason people are surprised when I do this...
  • 0 Hide
    baracubra , July 21, 2010 3:31 AM
    They should be rolling out a new console! not some stupid new controller
  • -2 Hide
    zachary k , July 21, 2010 3:38 AM
    didn't the 360 and PS3 come out with this from the beginning? and how long ago was this patent? that is the diagram for the original X-box.
  • -4 Hide
    mrmez , July 21, 2010 4:15 AM
    Yeah, what i was thinking... Just like a ps3 controller.

    BUT WAIT!!!! You wont have to pause the game!
    So now you can race your racing car game, get up, pickup your cable, plug in into the controller, all while shaving a full second off your lap time and most importantly, not having to waste a critical 10 seconds of gaming time!
  • -2 Hide
    Trueno07 , July 21, 2010 4:38 AM
    jdubsboothSo it's just like the PS3 controller...?


    Lol with that tiny cable?
  • 0 Hide
    Jazza2400 , July 21, 2010 6:30 AM
    lukeeuAlready patented.


    Was the first TV remote control ever patented? Or having to stop changing channels to pull the back off use a corner of the plastic back bit to wedge between the batteries and throw in a new set only to find out it uses AAA and in your third draw down you only have AA so you find another remote in the house that uses AAA and use the batteries out of that hoping no one notices.

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