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Google is working to bring Nintendo Switch controller support to Chrome

You might be able to game on Google's services with any controller laying around your home.

Published onMarch 14, 2019

It should come as no surprise that Google is diving deep into gaming. Between Project Stream and leaked information about Project Yeti, it’s clear that the search giant is trying to change the future of gaming. As we quickly approach Google’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) announcement, ChromeUnboxed discovered signs that the company might soon add Nintendo Switch support to Chrome.

Several days ago, before the teaser trailer was released, ChromeUnboxed found commits to Chromium that mentioned adding Switch controller support over Bluetooth and USB to Chrome. The list of controllers includes the Switch Pro (USB and Bluetooth), Joy-Con L & R (Bluetooth), and the Charging Grip (USB).

Looking through the documentation, it looks like the implementation is still a bit buggy. Below is a snippet of the Chrome bug report:

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller can be paired over Bluetooth and used as a standard gamepad on desktop OSes. It is currently enumerated in Chrome but is unusable due to incorrect mappings for the D-pad and analog axes. Chrome should add a mapping for this popular device.
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
Google teases likely gaming hardware announcement at GDC 2019
A teaser ad for what is likely the announcement of Google Gaming Hardware at GDC 2019.

There’s still a lot of unknowns. We know that “Yeti” was referenced in Chromium so there’s a good chance that the console will run Chrome. By adding Switch controller support to Chrome, it would most likely allow users to play with their pre-existing gaming accessories.

We will likely learn the answer to this question and more at GDC. Google’s event is set to take place live from the Gaming Developer Conference on March 19.

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