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Does Google’s game controller purchase indicate a set top box is close?

Google looks set to give added prominence to its gaming arm after paying for large swathes of games controller manufacturer Green Throttle Games.

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The BBC reports that Google confirmed the purchase of “elements” of the company and that the deal will also see two of the firm’s cofounders join the search engine specialists.

It sees Matt Crowley and Karl Townsend join the company, the latter of whom was a chief engineer for the Palm Pilot handheld device. Charles Huang, another of the firm’s cofounders, will not move over to Google and retains the rights to the Green Throttle Games brand.

Google moving to take over the gaming peripheral company will move some to point out that it is the clearest indication yet that it plans to develop its own set top box for use in the home.

It’s gambling on the preference that most gamers have to use a physical controller to play games as opposed to using a tablet or smartphone as the actual controller. The Bluetooth controller manufactured by Green Throttle Games could also be used in conjunction with a tablet or smartphone and thus bring more even customers to the table in that regard.

Green Throttle Games’s technology and expertise in the gaming area will also be valuable for Google and help it to develop its gaming offering as well as assist in the possible production of a set top box.

The in-home set top box market is set to hot-up in the coming months with rumours as early as last year tipping Amazon as one that will kick off its assault on the set-top box market.

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Amazon’s offering, which is a closely guarded secret, could get its release this month and it’s still unclear whether it will be a gaming hub that has TV and entertainment features or just a TV set top box.