Is this what Google's Yeti controller looks like?

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The patent has a January 31, 2019 publication date, and uses line drawings to outline what is mostly pretty standard fare for a console controller.

What this all potentially means is that when Google presents its big keynote at GDC in San Francisco next week, it won't be revealing any "Googlebox" console at all.

A patent has appeared on the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website, detailing games controller tech that could be part of the Yeti set-up.

It is not yet fully known whether Yeti will be a streaming service only, based on its successful Project Stream tests at the end of past year, or if Google will also release a dedicated console unit. The controller offers the traditional D-pad, thumb sticks, four primary buttons, and four trigger buttons. The only Google-specific detail in the diagrams is the inclusion of a Google Assistant icon on the lower edge of the controller's face, which could be a button or light-up indicator.

The company could release a low-priced set-top box similar to an Ouya that plugs into TVs and plays mobile games, select AA titles, and acts as a main conduit for the Project Stream cloud streaming subscription. The game controller itself has a built-in notification system that can notify a player of various game-related responses (i.e. chat notification, leaderboard changes, etc.). Instead of being used with a specific device, the Google controller would be used with several devices and device types - so you could have one controller that worked across a television screen, a PC, a tablet, and a mobile phone.

Interestingly, Kotaku's Jason Schreier suggested it would be more than just a streaming service, tweeting that he's heard "Google has put money into both" streaming infrastructure and games.

Whatever it is, we'll find out for sure March 19.

"We haven't heard many specifics about Google's video game plans, but what we have heard is that it's a three-pronged approach: 1) Some sort of streaming platform, 2) some sort of hardware, and 3) an attempt to bring game developers under the Google umbrella, whether through aggressive recruiting or even major acquisitions".

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