news\ Feb 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

Xbox 720 rumored to have 'iPad-style' tablet controller

New rumors of the Xbox 720 featuring a touchscreen, "iPad-style" tablet controller have emerged in the March 2012 issue of Xbox World.

According to the magazine's most recent publication, sources said "Microsoft are experimenting with a tablet-like controller with a shape closer to Sony's sleep Vita handheld / Apple's iPad than Wii U's bulky unit."

While the description sounds a little weird seeing as how the Vita and the iPad are two totally different shapes, the idea that Microsoft is experimenting with tablets for their next-gen system isn't too far fetched.  Just last month the idea of the Xbox 720 using a tablet-based controller was thrown around by Gamespot who said, "That saucy Windows 8 Metro interface (now also seen on the Xbox Dashboard) just begs to be touched." 

Sources describe the tablet as an "HD screen surrounded by the traditional 360 buttons and sticks".  Of course, with all of the emphasis Microsoft has placed on the Xbox Kinect, where would a iPad-like controller fit in?

"On 360 that touchscreen will be second only to Kinect in how you operate your console. It could be a remote control when you're watching TV, a browser when you're on the internet, extra buttons and information when playing a game or a portable display when you want to take your game with you."

While I'm hesitant to believe this exact rumor, mostly due to the fact that they claim to see the "next Xbox at E3 this year" despite Microsoft repeatedly confirming they will have nothing to announce, I still think Microsoft could be toying around with the idea of some form of tablet-controller.

Microsoft has a tendency to one-up its competition.  The Xbox took the idea of movement tracking to the next level by removing an actual controller from the consumer's hands and virtually turning them into the controller with the Kinect.  Now, with Nintendo about to release the Wii U, with an impressive tablet-controller of its own, I fully expect Microsoft to retaliate in some way with their next console.

[Gaming Everything]

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