The Google game controller pictures that made the rounds around social media a few days ago are not real designs, but rather a mock-up based on a patent filing that Google made. The patent filing likely included samples of design choices simply to help illustrate what Google's plans for the controller are, rather than an indication of what the finished product will look like when it ships.
Reports first surfaced that Google was looking to take a run at the console market last summer, when it was revealed that the company was looking to develop a streaming device. It was also indicated that Google was heavily shopping the idea of the console around, with the intent to buy development studios up outright should they be interested and a good fit for what the company is trying to achieve. Since then, things have been relatively quiet on the Google console front, although it has been in the back of the mind of many industry analysts craving more information on what will inevitably be a game-changing device.
Now, Google's cloud gaming device appears to have a patent for its controller. Google filed a patent for a system that notifies players when they receive an invite or when a game is ready to play through a controller. As part of that patent, Google included sketches of what both the system and the controller might look like. People who saw these sketches then began making renders of them, which is where the idea that the controller's design was finalized began to grow into a full-fledged rumor. Here's what the renders tended to look like:
Unfortunately, these kinds of patent sketches are fairly normal. Essentially, they exist to better demonstrate what Google's patent pertains to, and to give a rough idea of what an implementation of that patent might look like. Telling someone about a controller that does what Google has patented often isn't enough to properly imagine it, so companies hire artists to sketch out a prospective design to get the point across.
As it turns out, what we wanted to believe was a sneak peek at Google's newest tech was actually just an illustration of a patent idea. We won't have to wait too long before we likely discover more, though: there's a rumor that fans will see the gaming equivalent of Netflix unveiled by Google at this year's Game Developers Conference, which begins in a week on March 18, 2019.