Microsoft still not interested in portable gaming; criticizes 3DS, PS Vita

By on June 27, 2011, 6:00 AM

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.




User Comments: 21

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Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

lmao M$ is just mad there getting beat out by mobile gaming on the Ipad and iphone, let alone the PS vita and 3ds. The mobile gaming market is not crowded, it's rather empty.... PSV or 3DS. I bet both make both those companies a-lot of money, especially at $250 a piece. The reason they don't is because I can't picture halo or gears of war on handheld, and that's all they got.

princeton princeton said:

Seriously. Look at the apple touchscreen products. They have tons of games and they're selling barely any at all. It's the same story with the DS products, nobody wants to buy them because portable gaming is for losers.

Oh wait that's completely wrong and MS is missing a huge opportunity here.

Guest said:

I think Microsoft is right about this one. Mobile phones are here to replace dedicaed gaming devices. Just like they are replacing lot of other portable stuff. camera's, music players, computing etc etc. The technology advancements are helping mobile phones to become better devices and gaming on phones is increasing so people are rejecting the idea of dedicated devices. There is a bigger market of casual gamers than dedicated gamers.

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

I think Microsoft is right about this one. Mobile phones are here to replace dedicaed gaming devices. Just like they are replacing lot of other portable stuff. camera's, music players, computing etc etc. The technology advancements are helping mobile phones to become better devices and gaming on phones is increasing so people are rejecting the idea of dedicated devices. There is a bigger market of casual gamers than dedicated gamers.

Except mobile phones is an area where MS is not excelling. Also look at how many people own an ipod touch and tell me that phones will replace everything for gaming. You NEED a non cellular connected device to compete.

Guest said:

So Princeton, you're saying that Microsoft should develop a dedicated gaming device to compete with the iPhone instead of focusing on their phone industry to kill two birds with one stone? That's not good business, with the rate of phone development it doesn't make sense to be walking around with both. Microsoft will do very well with their phone business, if you actually used it before you'd know this. Android took two years to become a premiere consumer os, wp7 hasn't even been here a year yet. Cut the fanboy crap.

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

So Princeton, you're saying that Microsoft should develop a dedicated gaming device to compete with the iPhone instead of focusing on their phone industry to kill two birds with one stone? That's not good business, with the rate of phone development it doesn't make sense to be walking around with both. Microsoft will do very well with their phone business, if you actually used it before you'd know this. Android took two years to become a premiere consumer os, wp7 hasn't even been here a year yet. Cut the fanboy crap.

I never even mentioned android. Why don't you cut the accusations? I'm saying they should develop a dedicated device to compete with the vita, ds and ipod touch. Not everyone is lined with cash and can afford to have a smartphone. You obviously don't understand the market very well.

P.S. I own a Samsung Focus, cut the bullshit with you trying to paint me as a blind hater.

Maybe you should take a time out and read over posts before accusing people of being biased fanboys.

Chazz said:

I'm assuming that android was just a example of the timeline it took a very successful OS to penetrate it's market. Since you said wp7 isn't doing well.

I agree that microsoft should focus on the xbox live integration with their phone business and scarp any ideas of a dedicated mobile gaming device. Most phones, in the US atleast, are subsidized and often cost less than a portable gaming device.

As a gamer myself I haven't looked at the portable industry in a very long time, the PS vita isn't a good idea imo. Especially since they're trying to push their gaming android phone. They're stretching themselves too much and both services will suffer for it. I think nintendo will have more success since they have fewer things to divide their focus on.

princeton princeton said:

chazz said:

I'm assuming that android was just a example of the timeline it took a very successful OS to penetrate it's market. Since you said wp7 isn't doing well.

I agree that microsoft should focus on the xbox live integration with their phone business and scarp any ideas of a dedicated mobile gaming device. Most phones, in the US atleast, are subsidized and often cost less than a portable gaming device.

As a gamer myself I haven't looked at the portable industry in a very long time, the PS vita isn't a good idea imo. Especially since they're trying to push their gaming android phone. They're stretching themselves too much and both services will suffer for it. I think nintendo will have more success since they have fewer things to divide their focus on.

Oh by WP7 not doing well I meant it more referring to the lack of devices. Once nokia starts making some devices it'll definitely grow. Also it's definitely one of my favourite mobile OS's. Even with outdated hardware it's still smooth as **** due to the hardware acceleration.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I see them including something in Windows 8 that is going to integrate those phones and tablets with this gen and next gen's Xbox.

Inarius03 said:

The only people I've ever seen with a DS/3DS/PSP anymore are the little kids whose parents bought them one just to get them to be quiet during a long road trip or something else of the sort.

princeton princeton said:

Inarius03 said:

The only people I've ever seen with a DS/3DS/PSP anymore are the little kids whose parents bought them one just to get them to be quiet during a long road trip or something else of the sort.

But how many have you seen with an ipod touch for games?

Guest said:

Ok...M$oft...! Stop hating on SONY & Nintendo. You know you no longer have 1st party studios to develop games and rely solely on 3rd Parties. Gears suck, Halo has past it's prime which leaves..uhhm ~ nothing,... to define a portable system from you.

You stop supporting hardcores an shift your focus entirely to the casual market with Kinect. Why are you even still in gaming? It's the hardcore that defines you an now we have to suffer the blow to our egos as you announced shovel-wares for us to play by waving our hands like we in the clubs.

No I dont wanna play sesame street nor those other junks you giving us.

Am now a PS3 owner, with my 3rd X-Box gathering dust from lack of gaming. One more thing M$oft..am gonna get me a PsVita too.

Guest said:

Man, MS needs to move into Portable AND Home gaming like Nintendo and Sony already did. They need to keep thier fanboys ENTERTAINED while on the go, and BESIDES a Windows Phone, How about a HANDHELD console for once, MS?

Scott8090 said:

Princeton said:

Guest said:

So Princeton, you're saying that Microsoft should develop a dedicated gaming device to compete with the iPhone instead of focusing on their phone industry to kill two birds with one stone? That's not good business, with the rate of phone development it doesn't make sense to be walking around with both. Microsoft will do very well with their phone business, if you actually used it before you'd know this. Android took two years to become a premiere consumer os, wp7 hasn't even been here a year yet. Cut the fanboy crap.

I never even mentioned android. Why don't you cut the accusations? I'm saying they should develop a dedicated device to compete with the vita, ds and ipod touch. Not everyone is lined with cash and can afford to have a smartphone. You obviously don't understand the market very well.

P.S. I own a Samsung Focus, cut the bullshit with you trying to paint me as a blind hater.

Maybe you should take a time out and read over posts before accusing people of being biased fanboys.

God I love reading trolls being put down . You said windows 7 mobile was really smooth. Its one of those things I haven't had the cash to enjoy lol...Would you really take it over a Google android o.o?

Guest said:

I agree with others in that the mobile gaming scene isn't crowded. The only serious handheld gaming consoles are the Vita and the 3DS. They each have their own strengths; Vita has power and awesome OLED near HD display with several Sony titles. The 3DS has a brilliant 3D display with Nintendo's lineup of titles (most on the way). I don't see any of Apple's products as gaming portables. I have an iPod Touch 4G and while I love the retina display but most apps are underdeveloped and lack decent controls. I have a 3DS and love Zelda. At $250 I'll probably pick up a Vita later this year or spring of next year. I think Microsoft's problem might be their lack of a decent software to support a handheld. And Sony won't be making money on their Vita for a few years. Sony's PSP had issues including the UMD discs, and Microsoft isn't as experienced as Nintendo and Sony in this field.

Guest said:

A Microsoft handheld console? What a horrible idea. The fewer products that company thinks it can make the better.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

The only thing worse than a brick in your pocket... is two bricks in your pocket.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

This wouldn't even be an issue if Microsoft could get hardware vendors to push out some decently spec'ed out devices. How long to we have to wait to get a Tegra 2 or similar WP7 phone?

Guest said:

People, Microsoft is being smart, why go into a market with an unpredictable future? They are doing good the way they are. They should just stick with computers and the Xbox360. Better to stay focused and make great products than come out with a ton of mediocre products. And I believe this whole BS about Tablets (which they aren't really tablets, a tablet is actually meant to describe an actual PC or laptop that folds into a tablet, they stole that term and destroyed its actual meaning) is a bubble, a tablet has absolutely no advantages over a laptop and a smartphone. I would rather have a smart phone than a HUGE tablet like the Ipad or the Touchpad. Those things are almost 10 inches diagonally. If you ever held an Ipad I bet you will understand how unwieldy that thing is. I would rather have something much smaller like the HTC Evo, etc. and be a bit slower than a HUGE glass screen. I mean just get a netbook if you want something so small, like the HP Mini. And lets not forget about the price of those "tablets." MY GOD how expensive those things are. Utter garbage. The only REAL tablet I would by is one that comes with a REAL operating system. Like Windows, etc. At least with those kind of tablets you can compose Word Documents and do pretty much everything a desktop PC can just slower. THINK PEOPLE, you are wasting your money. So now your telling me a smart phone isn't ideal for reading books. WHO THE HELL reads books on a display that is BACKLIGHT. Didn't your parents ever tell you to not stare at the computer monitor for too long because you'll ruin your eyesight? If you want to read a book, either get the actual book or you a device with an INK display like the OLD nooks and the Kindles. Be smart people, don't do things just because everyone else is doing it. Be smart and think for yourselves.

Guest said:

You know its funny reading all these people talking crap like they know the market or like they can run these companies better. they are all doing it by trial and error Microsoft is just choosing to ride the fence and see what not to do when it comes to handheld gaming. Now as far as phones go its great that they are trying to go beyond what anyone else had because Apple and Android are basically the same as far as games go now I don't care who makes it if It's a good game I'm going to play it now I prefer Microsoft over all others but that's just because the company is American based and I love American based products lol except cars

MARCELINO MARCELINO said:

I think there making portable game consoles for kids and adults.Portabel gaming is great for people of all ages.Like does ios have cod..noooo does it have mario games...noooo does it have good graphics...noooo......So I think its goood that they keep making portabel devices.But microsoft is tooo stupid to make one!!:D

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