Samsung Patent Hints at a Gaming Variant for the Galaxy F Foldable Phone

Could this be the start of the mobile gaming revolution?

Samsung increasingly looks like it’s going to lean in to the emerging foldable phone trend, and may even roll out an entire line of foldable devices. Its first-ever flexible phone, possibly called the Galaxy F may be fully revealed as soon as February 20 alongside a new roster of other flagship devices. But a new patent suggests that’s not the only foldable consumer tech product that Samsung has up its sleeve.

The Korean tech giant was recently awarded a design patent on Wednesday from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a foldable device with a built-in video game controller. The documentation about this so-called “display device” is pretty vague, but what it lacks in concrete descriptions it makes up for with imagery that gives you a pretty good sense of how the product would work.

Its distinguishing factor is a specialized hinge component mounted at the bottom that can be flipped 180 degrees to reveal a small console controller. The rest of the device looks almost identical to the prototype of the Galaxy F that was teased during Samsung’s developer in November of last year.

samsung foldable gaming phone concept
The blueprints included in the Samsung patent.

The integrated controller has a D-Pad and six miscellaneous buttons that could be used to play a host of games, from Fortnite Mobile to Space Invaders. Since the hinge is mounted on the lower portion of the screen, users could game on the device while its either stretched out into a tablet or folded up in smartphone form.

German tech blog LetsGoDigital took Samsung’s blueprints and created renders of what the device could look like in the future. The results look promising, and seems like a route to much more immersive mobile gaming experiences, a concept that Samsung has recently pushed.

Earlier in January, The Korean Times reported that Samsung’s head of visual research and development, Kim Hark-sang, stated that with the introduction of high-speed 5G wireless connectivity will leave smartphone users yearning for bigger screens.

samsung foldable phone gaming concept
A render of what the gaming version of Samsung's foldable phone could look like in the future.

“Whether it’s leveraging increased connectivity or harnessing next-generation mobile intelligence, a larger display will be key to accessing future smartphone experiences,” he said.

Apple, one of Samsung’s main competitors, has also patented a concept for a gaming-centric mobile device. The filings from the Cupertino-based company depict designs for an iPhone with a screen that wraps all the way around it, almost like a smartphone crepe. This gadget likely won’t come to fruition any time soon, but serves as yet another example of how the big hardware makers envision a future for gaming-centric mobile devices.

The roll out of 5G will mean that mobile gamers will be able to play online games with little to no lag. That means gaming on portable devices won’t just be something people do while they commute, it could become as big as the console or PC-gaming scenes. Samsung wants to make sure they’re first to market with a compact gaming platform that could kick-off a new age of mobile gaming.