Google is all set to announce to the world something it is calling the future of gaming. With this announcement hotly tipped to be about video game streaming, a la Netflix but for video games, it is not surprising that Google recently released details about a new controller. If you thought that was exciting, you will love this latest piece of news.
Google is adding support for Nintendo Switch controllers to Google Chrome
This news comes thanks to freelance writer and coder Owen Williams who has spotted something very interesting in a recent Chrome Commit and Chromium bug report. The report shows that Google is currently testing compatibility between Nintendo Switch controllers, both the Joy-Cons and the Pro Controller, and Google Chrome.
Google’s adding Nintendo Switch controller support to Chrome… days ahead of its game streaming service being unveiled. This is gonna be good. 👀 pic.twitter.com/MmgWdNmjov
— Owen Williams ⚡ (@ow) March 14, 2019
The tests are looking at both USB wired connections and wireless Bluetooth connections too. The report says, “The Switch Pro controller is usable when connected by USB or Bluetooth, but defaults to a Bluetooth-only mode. This CL adds methods for recognizing Switch Pro controllers, sending the vendor-specific packets used for USB initialization and haptics, and reading controller data reports.” This feature is not live yet, but if the tests are successful people will be able to play games on their Chrome browser using Nintendo Switch controllers.
With the recent Google game pad looking a little underwhelming, being able to use controllers from established systems would give Google’s game streaming service a real boon. With streaming taking away the need for a console or gaming PC, it would be pretty radical if gamers didn’t even need to buy a controller either, simply using the ones they have lying around the house.
The other thing here is whether the streaming and joy-pad compatibility will work with Chrome on Android or iOS devices. As the all the heavy lifting with video game streaming is done by high-spec PCs connected to the host server, there is no reason to think that it wouldn’t. The Google streaming service could then turn any mobile device into a video gaming behemoth. This would give the compatibility of the Switch’s Joy Cons even greater significance.
Google and Nintendo have worked together in the past, so there is a good chance Google could announce full compatibility with the Switch controllers at this week’s Game Developers Conference (GDC). According to Nintendo Life, both companies worked together on, “motion-based AR experiences for the Wii U using Google Street View technology.”
This is indeed big news for gamers but as we’ve just mentioned we’ll have to wait until Google’s big keynote address at GDC in San Francisco to find out more. That is when the internet giant will unveil what it is calling the future of gaming. The big event takes place on March 19. Stayed tuned for further developments.