It seems that Microsoft believes Nintendo is on to something with the Wii U's touchscreen controller, according to a new report from Xbox World magazine. The magazine claims that Microsoft's next Xbox will feature a touchscreen controller, much like the Wii U, although less bulky and more along the lines of the PlayStation Vita's form-factor.
The "tablet" style controller could "be a remote control when you're watching TV, a browser when you're on the internet, extra buttons and information when you're playing a game or a portable display when you want to take your game with you", says the magazine. The console will also feature an upgraded Kinect that can sense up to four players at once, all the way down to finger-tracking.
The magazine explains that Microsoft won't be looking for a homerun with the CPU and GPU, and instead will focus on entertainment, changing the way we play games. They also add that the next Xbox "won't be cheap".
Tablets have become the all-in-one enterainment device, so it makes sense that console manufacturers are looking to capture some of that market, while bringing new experiences to the traditional home console. If both Nintendo and Microsoft go with such a plan, you can expect Sony to do the same thing. Depending on the timeline of when these next-gen consoles release, if Sony can get the price of the Vita down enough by the time the next PlayStation launches, it easily could function as one of these touchscreen "controllers", and it would be the best of both worlds having dual-analog sticks and front and rear touch capabilities.
Are touchscreen, tablet-like input devices the future of gaming controllers?