Microsoft hints at portable gaming device

By Justin Mann on July 20, 2009, 8:09 PM
Microsoft’s next move in the gaming world has been subject to speculation for some time. With all three major consoles on the market doing reasonably well and showing no signs of slowing, their focus has been improving the living room experience from a hardware standpoint – developing things like Project Natal. They do intend to expand to other platforms eventually, however, and in a recent interview Microsoft’s Corporate VP Shane Kim particularly referred to the portable market.

For Kim, it's just a matter of time before a mobile Xbox device becomes available. Although he claims they still don’t know if they’ll build their own gaming handheld or go the Windows Mobile route, earlier rumors suggest the company might already be working on a portable device that sits somewhere in-between the Xbox and Zune. Facing off the likes of Nintendo’s DS and Sony’s PSP, Microsoft would have to make a very grand entrance if they want to stand any chance of impressing people.

Will it happen? He certainly thinks so, believing that their existing strengths can play a note of future success with their mobile endeavors. They will capitalize on the power of Live, believing they can provide a high level of integration with online services people won't want to pass up.

Very few details aside from their intentions to enter the mobile gaming market were mentioned, but the interview itself is very revealing about how Microsoft is operating in the gaming space.

User Comments: 11

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Guest said:

After reading the reported interview, Kim is quite equivocal about entering the handheld hardware market. If it does make a handheld it can leapfrog Sony by including dual analog sticks so the highend games can be ported to the handheld. It is not trapped by a legacy 15 million single stick units like Sony. Or, it could open its MS mobile market to one or more controllers from Zeemote and bypass Sony and Nintendo with an enabled phone device.

Captain828 Captain828 said:

I somewhat smell it will be Tegra based... perhaps 650?

gobbybobby said:

We do not need a new Portable gaming console,in the market. We have Nintendo DS (I) Sony PSP (and go) and Mobile phones and the I phone, along with I pod touch. If its cheap, and I mean really cheap, cheaper than the £129.99 360 then I might buy one.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I am not sure if i have room in my pocket for a dedicated gaming device. I would love to see a better Windows Mobile device with better power, better screen and greater gaming capabilities. But I already carry an iphone and a htc touch cruise (work phone and home phone). the htc touch cruise has terrible games.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

I usually try not to say its too late for some instances, but arent we already kind of full with the portal gaming devices.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If they do it right, and make sure it's got open applications like the XBox (netflix, etc), they could be onto something. If they go the route of the PSP and lock down the OS with limitations and hamper flexibility, people will end up apathetic to a late-comer in the portable gaming market.

I honestly use my PSP more for watching movies while traveling than I do playing it, but the big screen advantage is almost completely washed out by the pain in the butt process required to get the movies in there. I think MS would have a market if they made a "gaming Zune" which provided good multimedia, but was also a great gaming platform. People would make room in their pockets for something that could replace several things they already may carry around.

polidiotic said:

Zune w/ gaming? ;/ Seems like Nokida w/ its N-Gage system - which failed miserably. Actually... didn't Zune pretty much fail, at least in comparison to any iPod/iTouch/iPhone?

I think MS has its followers, but I can't see them breaking into the hand held market. It was hard enough for the PSP to make a splash, since Nintendo already held the market.

Not saying they shouldn't try, but I think their efforts could be better aimed in producing a better console system, since I foresee them failing in the same manner of Zune. =X

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

N-Gage isn't that bad! its not great due to harware limitations but the service itself is actually really good! I have a nokia N85 and metal gear solid is awsome!

polidiotic said:

burty117 said:

N-Gage isn't that bad! its not great due to harware limitations but the service itself is actually really good! I have a nokia N85 and metal gear solid is awsome!

Whether the hardware and capabilities of the system were good or bad, is a moot point. The system failed horribly in the market.

BlindObject said:

Whatever it is, it should play the original Halo.=)

Guest said:

there's gonna be alot of people pumped about playin halo on a portable xbox moble! yal better come out with somethin cool lol

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