No, the weird Google controller isn’t real

Last week, images of a Google controller reportedly released by the search engine giant made their way online. Rumors quickly surfaced that the controller had been announced by the company ahead of GDC 2019 and that it was evidence of an upcoming Google console. However, the images are actually mock-ups based on a patent filed by the company, not official images published by Google.

The mock-up designs surfaced after a patent for the Google controller was made public. Though the patent was filed by Google, it’s still unknown whether or not the controller will ever actually see the light of day. Companies file patents for new technology all of the time, to ensure that their ideas are protected and cannot be lifted by revivals. As such, while the patent for the controller is interesting, it isn’t unusual and certainly isn’t concrete proof that the controller will be released.

The image included in the patent can be viewed below:


google controller patent

After the patent image surfaced, mock-up designs of the controller were posted to Twitter. With many believing these images to be the real deal, the controller was promptly mocked as a result of its unergonomic design. Its bulky frame was widely criticized on Twitter, though the mock-ups aren’t entirely reflective of the patent filed by the tech company:

google controller console design

As shown above, the analog sticks and face buttons in the mock-ups are much smaller than they appear in the patent, with these buttons also spaced further apart. While the patent shows a device more in line with the Nintendo Switch’s Pro controller, the mock-up designs look much more unwieldy. We’d hope that Google would come up with something a little more finger-friendly in its approach.

The Google controller and gaming console could be announced at GDC 2019

While Google hasn’t officially revealed a Google gaming controller, it does seem like the company is preparing for an announcement along those lines at GDC 2019. Google will be hosting a keynote at this year’s Game Developers Conference, with invites to the events informing attendees that “all will be revealed” during the presentation.

Although Google is working on Project Stream, a platform that allows users to stream games at 1080p/60 FPS, it seems highly unlikely that it would dedicate a GDC keynote entirely to this service. A Google console has been rumored for some time now, with the as-yet-unannounced system allegedly set to rival the PS4 and Xbox One with high-end games. GDC could well be the venue Google has chosen to reveal this new hardware.

However, even if that is to be the case, there’s no saying that this controller patent will be reflective of a finished product. We’ll have to wait and see what Google reveals at GDC 2019, but for now, all we have is a blueprint.