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"Does Microsoft Need A Handheld"

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Thu 01/06/06 at 23:16
Regular
"Fishing For Reddies"
Posts: 4,986
It's a tough question, this one.

Not only are Microsoft hitting second gear on the gaming scene, but they're losing ground to Apple in the portable media race.

Okay, so you could argue that there's only one way MS can go considering Apple's clear dominance of the digital music scene, but with the birth of their Live Anywhere effort, Microsoft have to be hoping that they'll get a much bigger foothold in the portable media arena.

Now, considering the PSPs undeniable ability to do almost anything, Microsoft would have to release a handheld that is both PSP competition and iPod competition. Why? Because they're fighting on two fronts. Google are rumoured to be thinking up an OS, Apple already have a technically more advanced and clearly better performing one... so Microsoft can't rest on the laurels. They have to give Windows a presence everywhere. Origami will have a lot to say about that, but I think that an XBOX HH is the way forward. It can run Windows Portable (Mobile, perhaps - but ideally a HH specific version) and still be geared towards Live Anywhere. Definitely do-able... but...

I don't think the time is right. They've created an XBOX-360 and they've had a successful launch. Shortages, yes... but the software was decent and Live Arcade (LIVE in general, really) is absolutely white hot. My only concern with an XBOX Handheld, is that they won't be able to link the 360 with it from the ground up. Patches can be released and you can always tweak this or that, but the foundation will never really be there.

Microsoft has the money to enter the Handheld game, but if I were them, i'd wait until a year-or-so before the 'XBOX 720' and make them completely sync'ed. The 360 is great, but they'll need to focus their efforts there to keep up the pace with SONY. And if they're not careful, Nintendo's Virtual Console or Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection could sweep LIVE Arcade off it's feet.

XBOX Handheld is a nice thought, but the market is crowded and the time, surely isn't right?
Tue 13/06/06 at 18:36
Regular
"Mooching around"
Posts: 4,248
Keroro Gunsou wrote:
> Handheld? Depends, some kind of branded well designed portable
> media player certainly, games machine no!

I agree, I have (or rather i had) a PSP, and after the euphoria wore off a bit, i didnt buy any games, because they sucked and were un-imaginative, but instead simply used it to listen to songs and maybe watch a movie or two.
Wed 07/06/06 at 11:45
Regular
"Gundammmmm!"
Posts: 2,339
Handheld? Depends, some kind of branded well designed portable media player certainly, games machine no!
Thu 01/06/06 at 23:31
Regular
"Brooklyn boy"
Posts: 14,935
Going up against Sony and Nintendo in that market? Would just be throwing money away, unless they could manufacture them for about 2 dollars a unit. They need to be concentrating on the 360 at the moment and getting ready for when the PS3 and Wii come out. (And an OS actually worthy of the price would be nice to)
Thu 01/06/06 at 23:24
Regular
"The definitive tag"
Posts: 3,752
Nope, Microsoft don't need a handheld. The market for them is too crowded at the moment with Sony and Nintendo battling it out. It would be a stupid move.

Maybe a year or two down the line when PSP's and DS's aren't as popular as they are now and the market has calmed down a bit.
Thu 01/06/06 at 23:16
Regular
"Fishing For Reddies"
Posts: 4,986
It's a tough question, this one.

Not only are Microsoft hitting second gear on the gaming scene, but they're losing ground to Apple in the portable media race.

Okay, so you could argue that there's only one way MS can go considering Apple's clear dominance of the digital music scene, but with the birth of their Live Anywhere effort, Microsoft have to be hoping that they'll get a much bigger foothold in the portable media arena.

Now, considering the PSPs undeniable ability to do almost anything, Microsoft would have to release a handheld that is both PSP competition and iPod competition. Why? Because they're fighting on two fronts. Google are rumoured to be thinking up an OS, Apple already have a technically more advanced and clearly better performing one... so Microsoft can't rest on the laurels. They have to give Windows a presence everywhere. Origami will have a lot to say about that, but I think that an XBOX HH is the way forward. It can run Windows Portable (Mobile, perhaps - but ideally a HH specific version) and still be geared towards Live Anywhere. Definitely do-able... but...

I don't think the time is right. They've created an XBOX-360 and they've had a successful launch. Shortages, yes... but the software was decent and Live Arcade (LIVE in general, really) is absolutely white hot. My only concern with an XBOX Handheld, is that they won't be able to link the 360 with it from the ground up. Patches can be released and you can always tweak this or that, but the foundation will never really be there.

Microsoft has the money to enter the Handheld game, but if I were them, i'd wait until a year-or-so before the 'XBOX 720' and make them completely sync'ed. The 360 is great, but they'll need to focus their efforts there to keep up the pace with SONY. And if they're not careful, Nintendo's Virtual Console or Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection could sweep LIVE Arcade off it's feet.

XBOX Handheld is a nice thought, but the market is crowded and the time, surely isn't right?

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