Google buys up games controller firm Green Throttle Games

Green Throttle Games controller Green Throttle Games made controllers that worked with mobile devices

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Google has bought up much of Green Throttle Games, a firm that created gaming peripherals, for an undisclosed sum.

While not buying the company outright, Google confirmed to the BBC it had bought "elements" of the firm.

As part of the deal, two of Green Throttle Games' co-founders will reportedly join the search giant.

Industry figures have speculated that the move could pave the way for Google to develop its own set-top TV box.

The box could be used to play games made for Google's mobile operating system, Android, on a large screen.

Green Throttle Games, based in California, produced a games controller that was able to connect to mobile devices wirelessly using Bluetooth.

It was designed to overcome the typical problem of playing games on tablets and smartphones - that without physical buttons, controlling games with precision is difficult.

Strategy

The technology and expertise acquired from the company could be used in the development of a new set-top TV box, a growing area of competition for major tech firms.

Amazon is expected to launch a box before the end of the month, while existing products, such as Apple TV, are already on the market.

Google has made several attempts to make in-roads in the market, but with minimal success.

Its orb-like Nexus Q device never made it to market, while tie-ups with companies such as Sony have not proven a hit with consumers.

More recently, the company announced the low-cost Chromecast dongle. The device allows content from a mobile device to be played out on a television.

Joining Google from Green Throttle Games will be co-founders Matt Crowley and Karl Townsend. Mr Townsend was lead engineer for the Palm Pilot, a pioneering handheld device.

However Charles Huang, also a co-founder, will not move to Google and will retain the rights to the Green Throttle Games brand.

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