Xbox handheld coming...eventually - Microsoft

Shane Kim says mobile plans for its gaming division still coming, but have taken a backseat to other pursuits such as Project Natal.

Shortly before the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo, rumors surfaced that Microsoft was on the verge of announcing the ZuneX. The ZuneX was purported to be a gaming handheld that integrated with Xbox Live Arcade and "ZuneX originals" and featured mobile-phone capabilities. That's a marked contrast from the current generation, which offers only a half-dozen games despite promises of titles that would be transferable from the Xbox 360.

The Xbox 360 may soon have a small, sleeker sibling.

With that rumor quickly marginalized as a phony by many industry watchers, Microsoft has now once again signaled that its portable gaming ambitions may extend beyond the struggling Zune. In an interview with gaming site Kikizo, Microsoft corporate vice president Shane Kim said that the Xbox brand is destined for the mobile platform.

"For us, it's a matter of focusing on 'when,'" said Kim, who transitioned from his role as head of Microsoft Game Studios to a strategic development position within the Interactive Entertainment and Devices division last year.

As for what's been holding up that "when," Kim said that the division has been focused on fleshing out the core Xbox 360 and Xbox Live experiences.

"If we chased after a mobile or handheld opportunity, we would not have the resources and ability to do things like instant-on 1080p HD, Facebook, Twitter, Project Natal," he said. "And so we've chosen to focus on the living room experience from a hardware standpoint, if you will, but we're building a service in Live that will...will extend to other platforms." [Emphasis in original.]

One other question facing the company is what form a mobile gaming device would take. "How do we enter into that market," pondered Kim. "Do we do our own device, do we create our own phone--that's a question for the company itself--do we continue to go down the Windows Mobile path, which is the path that we're on today, etcetera, etcetera."

Kim concluded by reemphasizing Microsoft's desire to be a player on all relevant platforms, whether that be consoles, desktops, or mobile devices.

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Discussion

414 comments
Dorian20063
Dorian20063

you know, the ZUNE player (along with $15 a month service fee...which DOES give you 10 song credits, so it's only $5 a month to rent MILLIONS of other songs!!!) really IS superior to the ipod in almost every way. And just as soon as FROSTWIRE, LIMEWIRE, and ALL other pier-to-pier file-sharing "services" are deemed ILLEGAL (JUST LIKE NAPSTER WAS!), you would NOT be able to buy a ZUNE ANYWHERE.... because they'd be SOLD OUT!!! :o)

Mistslasher
Mistslasher

I don't understand how they can make one with the PSP out for so long and so much better, (yes i'm a big SONY/PS3 fan)

da_illest101
da_illest101

ouch RROD in your pocket, that must hurt

badtaker
badtaker

Gears of war for xbox portable bring it on

shakensparco
shakensparco

Eh, well it sounds better than that crap Apple is putting out. The iPad, really?

King_Gamer19
King_Gamer19

A system that's going to blow up in your hand

slayersdeath200
slayersdeath200

A Xbox portable would be awesome, portable Halo. just make sure that Microsoft enable you to use your avatar put your XBLA games on the system and achievements

Slyster1181
Slyster1181

I dont understand how or why the Zune struggles.. Its way better than the IPod just like many phones are better than the IPhone. Anyways.. An Xbox handheld would be pretty cool if it could run the live arcade stuff.

Gamerguy92
Gamerguy92

Jackmac36, each system has its advantages and disadvantages, just like SS4_Bowman said. Even Sony has its flaws.

SS4_Bowman
SS4_Bowman

@ jackmac36 the x-box 360 is a quality system as well. every system has its flaws, but in all honesty, it's all up to opinion.

Jackmac36
Jackmac36

@CrouchingWeasel No, I just prefer quality gaming systems, made by quality companies.

Boston_Boyy
Boston_Boyy

Man I just want a great portable system. DS has great games (which is the most important thing) but is lacking in graphics, multiplayer, and any type different media. Hopefully if an Xbox portable is made it can have everything

Godyssey
Godyssey

As long as the 'Xbox Portable' beats the DS in something(ie. graphics, multiplayer, etc.) then it should be fine.

ascalon94
ascalon94

If you can give me atleast 2 of these games: Mass Effect, Halo, Gears of War, Splinter Cell, Alan Wake, Forza, etc atleast 1 year after release then hell yes

UltimateLegend
UltimateLegend

To all the people saying the DS is the greatest: It's a matter of opinion. There are some who just might not like it. It's not a fact that the DS is better. Just that it sold more.

bbkkristian
bbkkristian

Xbox better be prepared to lose just like the PSP. DS will most likely always have the spotlight until the next gen. of portable gaming.

Yojimbo25
Yojimbo25

@Jackmac36 Thank you sir, I couldn't have said better myself. Microsoft to me is like a little brother. Big brother Sony has the PSP Big brother Nintendo has the DS So little brother Microsoft thinks it needs to release a handheld too.

Cryptic_Wraith
Cryptic_Wraith

Until there is some physical evidence, I see no reason to be excited.

Brean24
Brean24

Puppet Master the virtual boy is Xbox 360 you retard All you get is a magic wand.

Dante200X
Dante200X

All I'm going to say is they don't know what they're getting into. If Sony and it's PSP can't overtake (or even put much of a dent into) Nintendo on it's handheld market, what makes ms think they suddenly can? Remember sony is the company that finally "defeated" nintendo during the PS1 and PS2 days when they were crushing the other competition. Personally, I think they need to still put their focus on the 360. They just NOW are having some decent success with their console market. Seems way too early to start thinking about the handheld one. And when I say "now" I mean this gen. Sorry, the xbox wasn't all that great and they were definitely late into the game.

PuppetMaster786
PuppetMaster786

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

bigjim01
bigjim01

I would not bother with stuff like Facebook or Twitter, they will most likely be gone in the next couple of years anyway. Everybody will move on to the next fad. I have been using Windows Mobile for years, and I am not about to switch to one of the lesser mobile platforms like the iPhoney, Crackberry or Piece of Scrap Portable.

AngryMcBeaver
AngryMcBeaver

I think Microsoft would make an excellent handheld. As long as they take their time before releasing it. Also if they come up with some innovative ideas for it. We don't want another PSP incident.

moe725
moe725

It would belike the psp. xbox360 will still live.:)

aaronobst
aaronobst

If its failure rate is anything like the 360's I'm sure the damn thing would melt in your hand

ChampMLG
ChampMLG

I would be so excited if the make a Zune phone. I'd totally get it. Zune phone > iPhone.

Godak
Godak

Hmm. Hopefully MS will take it slow and try to iron out all of the kinks before release.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

What would be really sweet would be an emulator for playing original xbox games on the handheld. That would require two analog sticks though... two analog sticks, an accelerometer or motion sensor, a multi-touch screen, online play and Halo 2- level graphics would make this thing the holy grail of handheld gaming, if extremely expensive.

termadoyle
termadoyle

It just doesn't seem right. please Microsoft, just focus on the 360 and creating more exclusives.

batty49
batty49

i have a 360 and love it but doesnt everyone else agree... MINI RED RING OF DEATH!!!

ernest-young
ernest-young

If it's a Microsoft made product, then i'm gonna wait for about 6 months to a year. Because in that amount of time, it seems like Microsoft stuff ALWAYS breaks down at that timespan for some strange reason. So if I don't hear no problems within that timeline, then I MAY just buy one. maybe....

mjk_1
mjk_1

hopefully it works...

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

werruraz Posted Jul 23, 2009 2:49 am GMT @ thenephariouson "The Windows operating system is the first failure if i remember my history correctly." LOL, im not even going to continue commenting.............LOL

Earth2023
Earth2023

Xbox handheld would be the color black and look probably kinda like the first psp. thats what im thinking.MICROSOFT is doint it big next year and this year and the following.

KBABZ
KBABZ

Back when the XBOX was first released, many would say that the only platform Microsoft should be relevant to is PCs, but now it's not so simple.

_Sora_777
_Sora_777

I couldn't agree with Adzey more. The DS is anything a gamer could ever ask for and more. To write off the system as little more than a kids toy will seriously deprive you as a supposedly hardcore gamer. That title goes to gamers who actually do a little research. The DS has the greatest variety of well-crafted games that I have ever seen on a system; handheld or console. (S)RPGs, puzzlers, action games, original concepts: you name it and the DS probably has high quality games of that type in droves. Lets not forget that ports have come to call this system a haven, as well. A little facelift, some new content and you’ve got yourself an old game worth buying again (especially if you missed it the 1st time)! Plus, there's hardly a publisher/developer out there who doesn't make games for the DS! Bioware, Square Enix, Atlus, Level 5, Konami, Camelot (with a new Golden Sun on the way!!), and a slew of others are all devoted to the DS. And I dare say Nintendo makes better titles for their handhelds than their consoles, more often than not. Everything from Castlevania to Advanced Wars to FF to Picross. Its all there. Try playing Knights in the Nightmare (heck just watch a video) and then try telling me you've seen anything more hardcore than that! And should that game get the best of you, you can just switch gears and play a relaxing game of Peggle. If you still wish to cling to ignorance that's your prerogative, but don't say I didn't do my darndest to enlighten you.

thisisreallybor
thisisreallybor

windows is fine - or go build your own operating system Halo LAN parties will be so much more simple!

vietboi89
vietboi89

Microsoft presents the most hardcore thing u can do with ur hands... the X-Palm! Guaranteed to satisfy ur addiction to be satified.

kiramasaki
kiramasaki

Somebody needs to tell microsoft the market is already saturated, normally there arent even three major consoles, one always dies out. 3 consoles is a bit much, 3 handhelds is overkill.

werruraz
werruraz

@ babykid160 Just offering my support to the small struggling companies. xD

babykid160
babykid160

@ werruraz if windows is a failure why you using it?

Letmekilluplz
Letmekilluplz

Will be good if they take a solely gaming approach. When they try to make a phone with decent games it will suck.

werruraz
werruraz

@ thenephariouson The Windows operating system is the first failure if i remember my history correctly.

iSAIGONi
iSAIGONi

two analog sticks and good games with reasonably good graphics is all i ask