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For many years Microsoft Corp. concentrated on non-portable video game consoles and services and pretty much ignored the market of games for handhelds. But that is going to change according to the software giant’s vice president Shane Kim: Microsoft definitely wants to address the market of mobile gaming platforms, the question is when the company releases its platform or enable appropriate third-party devices.

“We are building a service in Live that will... will extend to other platforms. No question about it. So the question will be, how do we enter into that market – do we do our own [mobile gaming] 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, etc.,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of strategy and business development at Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, in an interview with Kikizo web-site.

Microsoft’s vice president explained that for the software giant it was crucial to enable services and infrastructure for the living room, which limited resources available for other platforms. This seems to be a logical choice since the original Microsoft Xbox video game console was a rather weak seller and spending resources on making a moderate mobile and a moderate non-portable consoles was definitely not very wise.

“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. And so we've chosen to focus on the living room experience from a hardware standpoint,” said Mr. Kim.

It is not a secret that Nintendo DS/DSi and Sony PlayStation Portable are very popular among gamers. But the market of video games for various mobile phones is growing even quicker; for example, Nokia, the world’s largest maker of handsets, even dropped its own Ngage phone/game-console hybrid in favour of enabling all of its higher-end phones with gaming capabilities. Therefore, it is also a question for Microsoft whether the company wants a dedicated portable game console or an advanced mobile phone.

Tags: Microsoft, Xbox

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