Microsoft patents handheld-console 'gaming system'

Cryptic application outlines game network of "handheld devices and console devices"--could it portend Zune-360 gaming connectivity?

In January, Peter Moore, the corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business section of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, made a promise. Speaking with the Bloomberg news service, he said the Zune multimedia device--intended to be Microsoft's answer to the iPod--would have some sort of gaming functionality by 2008.

Since then, little has been heard about gaming on the Zune. Many believe that it will have only basic gaming functionality like the iPod. However, a patent application approved last week with the United States Patent and Trademark Office suggests that something more advanced could be on the horizon.

The patent application, Number 20070087830, is for a "multi-component gaming system" that will include "handheld devices and console devices." Described in broad and generic terms, the proposed system will have "variable functionality and processing performance as determined by the number of components in the system."

"The processing capabilities and functionality of each gaming component in a combination are augmented by the processing capabilities and functionality of other gaming components in the combination," reads the patent. "To take advantage of another gaming components processing capabilities and memory capacity, each gaming component is capable of utilizing another gaming component to process gaming applications."

One of the functionalities Microsoft's console-portable system will support sounds similar to how PlayStation Portable users can stream video off PlayStation 3 systems. "Each gaming component is capable of rendering audio and/or video information provided by another gaming component," reads the patent. Currently, Zunes can transfer audio files wirelessly via a process called "squirting."

Since Microsoft doesn't have a gaming portable--yet--the system outlined by the patent could be some sort of connectivity between a gaming-enabled Zune and a wireless-adapter-equipped Xbox 360. However, the patent does not mention specific consoles or handhelds, nor are any pictured in the images accompanying the application.

When asked for comment by GameSpot, Microsoft politely declined. "Just because there's a patent doesn't mean anything's announced or official," a rep said. "And we don't comment on rumors or speculation."

Whatever Microsoft has up its sleeve, it has had it planned for quite some time: The patent was initially filed on October 14, 2005--just over a month before the Xbox 360 first went on sale.

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Discussion

292 comments
mkreaper
mkreaper

This WILL be good, whatever you nay sayers think. I didn't think the PSP would be so great and it was. And Microsoft have always had good line-ups for the Xbox and Xbox 360 so I can't see anything wrong with a handheld. Even if it is a 'rip-off' of the PSP, Sony hasn't come up with all the technology they've used.

grandtheftauto4
grandtheftauto4

Actually blaydcor, SONY is Ritcher than microsoft... Look it up on wikipedia.org

theKSMM
theKSMM

If you're doing something that is making you a boatload of money, and I think I can do the same thing as well or even better, you can bet that I'm gonna do it too. Your ideas of "copying" be d*mned. The purpose of private companies is to make money. So why is anybody surprised that Microsoft is continually looking for ways to make more money? If you think that Sony or Nintendo just wants to entertain the world with good games, you're really naive. And all these comments about "Microsoft's handheld will suck" and "I won't buy it" and "it'll never beat the DS"...how do you make decisions about a system that hasn't even been announced much less appeared on the market? Look, this thing may never see the light of day, so there's no need to get your panties in a bunch over an 18-month-old patent application.

blaydcor
blaydcor

"ight people get ur facts straight sony has ps ps2 ps3 cumputer tv camaras micro soft only has an mp3 player the computer xbox and 360 so shut up about they what more money" ....is shaneshaneH serious?...

Brizen__Beez
Brizen__Beez

To be honest, I don't really think Microsoft is doing thing for a money making scheme. Sure they will probably make a lot of money off of a new handheld but look at the potential. With all the money in development the recieve from other sales, they would be able to create a handheld that would probably interact with Windows XP/Vista, and Xbox 360. With the type of exclusive games microsoft has been securing with companies, they might just be able to make great games for this new rumoured "handheld." Personally, I don't think it is as original as the DS which is an ingenious system. However, they probably will have an edge for a better handheld than sony. Everything about this handheld has a better chance than Sony and it should not be considered a "money grabbing/money making scheme". Perhaps they have plans to create great games, xbox live arcade emulators, better connectivity and format issues and all the lovely little gizmos microsoft could think of putting in a new handheld. Better to see what develops than just critizise if for trying to rob your pockets of money.

Love_ya24
Love_ya24

there just money hungry. they now people will pay it if they put console games on there. I smell someone copying. Microsoft is doing what Sony did. Handheld gaming console.

palaric8
palaric8

cant wait for ms first party games like halo stories and fable portable ops

shaneshaneH
shaneshaneH

ight people get ur facts straight sony has ps ps2 ps3 cumputer tv camaras micro soft only has an mp3 player the computer xbox and 360 so shut up about they what more money

AnalogOdyssey
AnalogOdyssey

I guess they want more money lol I still thnk the ds will sell the most since it is cheap and then psp and then the xbox handheld... Come on microsoft you already have the computer and xbox why a handheld??? I guess you need more money....

shaneshaneH
shaneshaneH

and honestly u may not agree with me but id love to see there handheld look and feel jus like the 360 control thats the main reson i dont like the psp and the ds thr realy un comfortable and yea it may not fit in ur pocket but thats what u got a backpack for or a hoodie and if they came out with that disign they would dominate cuz theyd be comfertable and i would def buy 1 and 1 more thing when u buy it atleast come with a gige of memory insted of 32 mb

shaneshaneH
shaneshaneH

now if the games that are called the same like burn ouyt revenge for the 360 is called the same for the portable doesent sound like a big deal but when ur looking for it it does and if u can play on the portable and play with 360 users and have a mic componet cuz how awsome would it be to be on the street corner and u pull out ur xbox portable and make a car to sell on forza 3 that would be sick and if ne 1 would like to reply to me beings that i dont read the little comment my email address is thissti@yahoo.com

Young_Taizy
Young_Taizy

How cool would it be to play Gears or Halo on the bus, and still have full access to your friends list!!!

TTDog
TTDog

This will just suck so bad.

UltraWoody
UltraWoody

I say let them come and try. In the end we, the gamers, would all benefit from these kinds of things. The more competition the better! We get better games and gaming devices while Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are attacking each other with lower prices to have us on their bandwagon. We win regardless!

smoothn00dle
smoothn00dle

@MrSickVissionz No thanks you! Sony PS2 didn't put me through any lifetime of debt and hardships. On the contrary, I spent just 10 dollars on FFXII and clock it 215 hrs of play time. That is very good deal.

MrSickVisionz
MrSickVisionz

""this is a PSP-ps3 ripoff... And now they're going to make me buy a wi-fi adapter for my 360, guess the 360 isn't $399 after all. Why can't they give me all i need in 1 payment. Buy all these add-ons for my 360 is crap.""" LMAO, why would you have to buy it if you don't want it? If you're gullible enough to buy anything someone releases to the market whether you need it or not, you should get prepared for a lifetime of debt and hardships. And none of it is any company's fault.

AJmon13
AJmon13

~Quote~ Does Microsoft just want to keep digging itself into a hole it can't get out of? They have yet to make a single profit from their gaming division as recently stated, and they're going to throw another billion or so dollars at pushing a handheld into the market? Are they drunk with power and dellusion or what? It's makes no freakin' sense anymore. It's like they don't want to pull out of this market because they're worried it'll be bad for their image like they failed or something. Yet they're busy lying to their investors about their sales and only screwing themselves over further. They're going to collapse in on themselves eventually. It's only a matter of time until their ego problem backfires on them and they screw gamers over most importantly. ~Quote~ do you honestly care? Good games keep coming, Bill Gates is still loaded, im still happy. And if anyones killing themself slowly...*points to PS3*

buggymike
buggymike

Microsoft, if your smart, leave the handheld business to Nintendo. It is for the best that you do.

Pie_FOREVER
Pie_FOREVER

Does Microsoft just want to keep digging itself into a hole it can't get out of? They have yet to make a single profit from their gaming division as recently stated, and they're going to throw another billion or so dollars at pushing a handheld into the market? Are they drunk with power and dellusion or what? It's makes no freakin' sense anymore. It's like they don't want to pull out of this market because they're worried it'll be bad for their image like they failed or something. Yet they're busy lying to their investors about their sales and only screwing themselves over further. They're going to collapse in on themselves eventually. It's only a matter of time until their ego problem backfires on them and they screw gamers over most importantly.

-wardrobe-
-wardrobe-

"The VMU is the strongest multifunctional device for its size ever created" non rechargeable battery sucked the big one though

menes40
menes40

Woo, Wii60, and (tentative XBOX handheld title)DS, FTW

malmeid2
malmeid2

Hopefully it's a new idea because I don't like the Zune personally. I'd rather see something like PSP but with a larger screen, better games, more power, and a similar pricetag. And no unnecessary formats or garbage extras. Maybe they can even introduce a portable that actually uses flash for games. Now that would be sweet.

BOSSMAN_2004
BOSSMAN_2004

Microsoft OWNS. All your base belong to Microsoft.

opecube
opecube

Zune needs something...I work in Retail and we have not sold ONE since December!

FrostElf
FrostElf

Hehe..that would be nice...having XBL connectivity on the 360, Vista, and Handhelds through WiFi =D

skyman_1981
skyman_1981

psp doesn't need more games, they have a bunch already! They need quality exclusive games. psp is nothin but a port of ps2 that's it. and an expensive one at that. I have a zune and although I prefer the scroll thing of an ipod, it isn't bad. the screen is much brighter and crisper, makes an ipod video screen look like garbage. yes I had an ipod video but after it crapped out on me I ditched it to get a zune. to be fair I bought a defective zune from wal-mart but sent it in to MS and they fixed it and sent it back. I reall do hope they have a separate games portable machine instead of using the Zune as a games machine.

lucky326
lucky326

This has been around forever if they are going to make a Handheld system it would be an extremely bad time to do so. DS owns the market in a way even they wont be able to get a foothold in. As for the look at the reviews comment, A review is an opinion of one person not everyone and on sales terms the DS is certainly beating the PSP.

T-Zone
T-Zone

If you ppl compare GS' reviews of the PSP and DS together, then you'll see that the Psp is doing better then u think.

mpalacio
mpalacio

I'm all about microsoft and the 360, but, Zune flat out sucks.

Natdaddy
Natdaddy

The VMU is the strongest multifunctional device for its size ever created.

Evan4prez
Evan4prez

"kavadias1981 @Evan4prez If they were just a gaming company I wouldn't have a problem with them. It is the fact that Microsoft wants it's fingers in all the pies that makes me angry. Sarcastic little git." I hope you aren't insinuating that Sony is a "gaming" company. If its technology, you can bet Sony is making it. Nintendo is the closest thing to a pure gaming company. I own a Wii and a 360, and the pairing couldn't be better. "allreginas -chikahiro94 and evan4prez- why would I want to pay $15 a month for "unlimited" downloads" when there are other legal (yes legal) ways to get the same thing at no cost? It's just stupid. Besides, if the Zune is soooo much better like half the posers on here would have you believe, why is it not selling? Maybe because every respected device/ghardware analyst says it's a piece of crap too?" There are legal ways, but how many legal ways easily let you drop your music onto a portable music device? Name them and I will start using them. As for your "analyst" I can find a "respected analyst" to talk negatively about anything. Who needs talking heads to tell you how to live your life? To make any claim that the Zune and the iPod are in different leagues in terms of functionality is ridiculous. iPod already has a fanbase, the Zune does not. It is the same way with the Playstation. The large fanbases want to squash anything that could compete with it. If you don't want it, don't buy it. To claim that the Zune music service is worse than iTunes is bogus. @The Moderator Shouldn't this be in Rumor Control?

minos30
minos30

"...could be some sort of connectivity between a gaming-enabled Zune and a wireless-adapter-equipped Xbox 360." this is a PSP-ps3 ripoff... And now they're going to make me buy a wi-fi adapter for my 360, guess the 360 isn't $399 after all. Why can't they give me all i need in 1 payment. Buy all these add-ons for my 360 is crap.

ElHypno
ElHypno

Good luck with that one Microsoft. Hope it goes well. As for the PSP, i dont own one but probably should. I think over all PSP just needs more games and everyone agrees it needs a dual analog pad stick thingie. Microsoft will most likely have that making it the portable of choice for most mainstream popular games. Thats why it will do well if its reasonably priced.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

"each gaming component in a combination are augmented by the processing capabilities and functionality of other gaming components in the combination," So when I put them together I create Voltron??

umbra
umbra

the wording in here all sounds like stuff we've seen before. The Dreamcast + VMU, the GameCube + GBA, the PS3 + PSP. From what I read here, there's no reason a patent should have been granted for their completely vague and far too broad wording.

extrmgamer2
extrmgamer2

" avlin1122 said You can pretty much guarantee that it's going to be very competetive with the PSP. I stand behind my PSP. It's really a great console and I agree with ElmorePOW that most people who don't have one think they're bad. Buy one - they're 169 now. It's worth it" No its not, handhelds are BORING. I first bought a PSP but the games were extremely boring, except for GTA. Then I sold it and bought a DS thinking hey 10.5 million people can't be wrong right? WRONG, the games on the DS are also extremely boring, and the games on the PSP are already on the PS2 so why play those games on a smaller screen? I'd rather stick to my consoles and my PC, handhelds are a waste of money and time.

avlin1122
avlin1122

You can pretty much guarantee that it's going to be very competetive with the PSP. I stand behind my PSP. It's really a great console and I agree with ElmorePOW that most people who don't have one think they're bad. Buy one - they're 169 now. It's worth it.

bizuit
bizuit

You bring up an interesting point kavadias1981, being that sony makes computers, consoles, handhelds, AND tv's. So if anyone is going for the monopoly over electronics it would more closely be Sony.

allreginas
allreginas

-chikahiro94 and evan4prez- why would I want to pay $15 a month for "unlimited" downloads" when there are other legal (yes legal) ways to get the same thing at no cost? It's just stupid. Besides, if the Zune is soooo much better like half the posers on here would have you believe, why is it not selling? Maybe because every respected device/ghardware analyst says it's a piece of crap too?

ElmorePOW
ElmorePOW

Every people who speaks ill of PSP does not own one. I love my PSP. It has great games and its multimedia capabilities rox. I cant figure out better portable console. When I get tired of playing games on the go, I watch my favourite anime from beautiful screen. Even though it has many functionalities, it does not mean it doesen't play right. about topic: playing with Zune? plz.

langfora
langfora

I'm actually not excited...i think of the nightmare that was the PSP bad ass but no games. I hope the take a cue of Nintendo and make a separate gaming only hand held...i don't need Zune and the Windows Marktplace

cromwargod
cromwargod

kavadias1981 If they were just a gaming company I wouldn't have a problem with them. It is the fact that Microsoft wants it's fingers in all the pies that makes me angry. Sarcastic little git. The only true gaming company now is Nintendo, do you own any Playstation? If you do, you just put your foot in your mouth. Sony does more than just consoles, tv's, vcr, dvd, Blu-ray, stereos, etc. Think before you post...

spidey008
spidey008

I hope it does better than the PSP has.

maxmax1234
maxmax1234

a handhold from microsft, fineally

ControllerLord
ControllerLord

doughtybenjamin: blah, its gonna try (to) be a bit of everything and fail to be good at anything... Just like that PSP thing-a-ma-jig.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@chikahiro94 I don't see any other companies trying to create a total monopoly over the electronics world. Doesn't that greedy Bill Gates have enough money? As far as i'm concerned, Mircosoft are not welcome in the games industry and the sooner the 360 is flattened by PS3 and Wii sales the better. (i'm starting to detect a a slightly manic tone in my posts)

soldier1993
soldier1993

I would never buy a Microsoft handheld! They don't manage to make a good home console, so imagine a handheld to interact with it!!!!! Doesn't work