According to Microsoft VP Shane Kim, some form of handheld Xbox gaming platform is somewhere in the not so distant future. Kim made his comments in a recent interview with Kiziko. Microsoft’s Xbox division has a lot on its plate at the moment, but apparently they’re adding one more project: “For us, it’s a matter of focusing on ‘when’, because if we chased after a mobile or handheld opportunity, we would not have the resources and ability to do things like… Project Natal. 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. No question about it.”
It may not happen next month or next year, but Microsoft is evaluating the mobile market and looking to worm its way in. The interest is natural, as PSP is accounting for a significant amount of Sony’s gaming division revenue, and as we all know, the DS is simply dominant. In fact, with all of the profit being made by its competitors, Microsoft’s lagging in the handheld arena is almost conspicuous. Good thing XBL laid the infrastructure for a successful new device: “Live is the connective tissue. You’re starting to see that now – we integrate Netflix, we integrate Facebook, we integrate Twitter – because we understand that customers don’t want an island experience, they want to be connected to the rest of their lives.”
Kim went on: “So the question will be, how do we enter into that market – 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 that path that we’re on today, etcetera, etcetera”
For the moment, Kim and his team are wisely focusing on the promising but as of yet undeveloped Natal. Nevertheless, Xbox Mobile (or whatever they end up calling it) is coming, and I sort of can’t wait.