A patent filed by software giant Microsoft indicates that the company is thinking about launching a Windows Phone 7 powered gaming phone.
According to Kotaku, the patent, which was filed in 2010 but was made public last week, shows that the company has thought-up a slide out control pad for the smartphone.
The slide out component will be able to double up as a keyboard for phone functions and as a control pad for gaming.
“A mobile communication device comprises a first device with a first display and multiple second devices. The second devices are releasably attachable to the first device and are interchangeable with each other. The mobile device can operate as a mobile cell phone with one or more second devices operable as a mobile phone hand set,” the Microsoft patent reads.
Microsoft is already planning to integrate Xbox Live with its Windows Phone 7 platform. Therefore, the company might be planning to launch Xbox branded gaming phone that makes the Xbox Live integration its USP.
Microsoft will be in direct competition, if it indeed launches such a phone, with the Sony’s PlayStation branded Xperia Play device.
Traditional gaming is being threatened by the rise of social and mobile gaming, so Microsoft and Sony are coming up with their own strategies to either counter the rising trend or jump in the bandwagon.