The Xbox 360 may be doing well, especially thanks to the explosion of the Kinect motion controller, but Microsoft still isn't interested in the portable gaming market. In fact, the company thinks it's a poor move on Sony's and Nintendo's parts to be bothering with it at all.
In a recent interview, Microsoft Xbox COO Dennis Durkin was very skeptical on the handheld front. He also cast some doubts on both the Sony PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) and the Nintendo 3DS. When specifically asked about comparing Microsoft's strategy to Sony's, here's what he answered.
"I'm not sure I would want to be launching a dedicated portable device right now into that market," Durkin told IndustryGamers. "I think the DS - if you look at the 3DS, certainly versus people's expectation's it's not been as successful as people would have thought. So that's a very crowded market and a very, very red ocean right now with a lot of change happening. So I'm not sure it's [a good idea]. You only have a certain number of bets you can make as a company and you have to decide what you want to put your wood behind and I'm just not sure that that's a place that I would put mine."
The Nintendo 3DS launched on February 26, 2011 in Japan, on March 25, 2011 in Europe and on March 27, 2011 in North America. The last official number the company has shared is 3.61 million 3DS units sold globally at the end of its fiscal year in March. On April 26, 2011, during its financial results briefing, Nintendo admitted that sales of the 3DS have been below expectations.
Exact release dates for the Sony PS Vita are still unknown, but Sony has said that it will launch globally at the end of this year. While we do know it will be region-free (Vita's primary competitor, the 3DS, is not), we also found out recently that it will use proprietary memory cards.
There are quite a few people that want to see Microsoft develop a mobile version of the Xbox. The software giant is, however, focusing on Windows Phone and the mobile operating system's Games hub, which integrates with Xbox Live.