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Microsoft: We’re Not Making a Portable Gaming Console

Microsoft is very adamant about not pursuing a dedicated handheld device to rival Nintendo and Sony. Instead, the company plans on focusing its energy towards improving its Windows Phone platform and tightly integrating its Xbox Live services into the mobile platform.

In a recent interview with Microsoft’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer for its Interactive Entertainment Business, the company believes that a dedicated handheld device is not viable. “In a term of a dedicated handheld there are questions of the viability of that business model,” said Dennis Durkin, Microsoft’s Cheif Operating and Financial Officer.

“People have been asking for a long time about handhelds. It’s a really interesting time in that market. Look at the Nintendo 3DS, it’s been a slower start than analysts and others had expected, but it’s a super-competitive space. Any dedicated portable device like a camera, or a portable gaming device like the 3DS has a tough time. They are very challenging markets as phones have got smarter, and we’ve chosen to make our bed around the phone instead and add Xbox Live services to Windows Phone 7 instead,” Durkin stated.

This is the first time we have heard Microsoft say that having a dedicated handheld gaming device to be not viable.

“Today on Windows Phone, Xbox Live games make up less than 1 per cent of the number of games that are on there. They are over 30 per cent of the units of the games downloaded on the phone, and they over 70 per cent of the revenue. That’s because consumers value the experience and integration of the game with Xbox Live,” stated Xbox Live Corporate VP, Marc Whitten.

Would you rather have a dedicated handheld gaming device from Microsoft or just a beefed up version of Windows Phone with Xbox Live? Post your comments!

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