A newly approved Microsoft patent hints at a future Xbox 360 controller that packs in biometric pressure readings.
The controller would be able to measure a player's grip, using that to identify which profile to sign into, selecting settings based on that identification, and could have application in terms of control within games too.
The official abstract for the device is as follows:
"A hand-held device having a body with a pressure-sensitive exterior surface. At least a portion of the pressure-sensitive exterior surface is designed to be grasped by a user's hand. The pressure-sensitive surface contains a plurality of pressure sensors operative to provide an output signal proportional to a pressure applied by the user's hands to the exterior surface of the hand-held device at the area the pressure sensor is located. The device also includes a memory for storing the output signals provided by the plurality of pressure sensors and a processor for comparing the output signals provided by the plurality of pressure sensors against stored pressure profile signatures for positively identifying the user."
Could we perhaps be looking at a description of the Xbox 720's controller? Though the application was filed in 2009, it having recently been approved would line it up well for inclusion with any "Durango" console being teased for release next year.
Having said that, E3 is just around the corner, and with Microsoft stating that there will be no new console on show, perhaps a revised controller for the current generation of the Xbox console will sate the appetite of the collected crowds in the meantime.