Microsoft Does Not Believe in Portable Game Consoles

Microsoft Xbox Executive Doubts Sucess of PS Vita

by Anton Shilov
06/26/2011 | 10:46 PM

Microsoft Corp. does not see any reason to release a dedicated portable game console right now. The firm claims that the ladnscape of the portable gaming industry is changing and that the sucess of PlayStation Vita is not cast on stone. Instead, Microsoft will continue to consider its Windows Phone 7 platform as its mobile gaming platform.


"I am not sure I would want to be launching a dedicated portable device right now into that market. I think the DS - if you look at the 3DS, certainly versus people’s expectation's it’s not been as successful as people would have thought. So that’s a very crowded market and a very, very red ocean right now with a lot of change happening. So I’m not sure it's [a good idea]," said Dennis Durkin, corporate vice president, chief operating & financial officer of interactive entertainment (Xbox) business at Microsoft, in an interview with IndustryGamers web-site.

This is by far not the first time during Microsoft's journey in the game console world when the software giant dismisses intentions to release a mobile game machine. Several years ago Microsoft pinned some hopes onto Zune digital media player, now it considers its Windows Phone 7 operating system for smartphones as its primary platform for mobile games.

The obvious problem with Microsoft's approach is that players and smartphones are not designed to play hardcore video games, which is why no one actually develops $50 games for them, but the majority creates titles for $1 - $5. Naturally, hardcore gamers are not interested in such titles and prefer consoles like Ninentendo 3DS as well as Sony PlayStation Portable.

"I’m pretty excited about the bets that we’re making around unique content, around our Xbox Live service, and around Kinect, and then layering in new entertainment experiences for people which take advantage of all of the above. [...] So it’s been very, very consistent and I think it speaks to the trends that you’re seeing in terms of sales and velocity over the last 2 years... So I feel very good about our relative position relative to both of our competitors. I certainly wouldn’t want to trade hands with either of them," added Mr. Durkin.

There are currently two problems for Microsoft: the popularity of Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 is decreasing and the amount of game developers for the platforms remain low.