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Microsoft Handheld Gaming in 2007?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the x-parcel dept.

48

1up is reporting on speculation from analysts 'The Diffusion Group', who have forecast a handheld gaming device from Microsoft sometime in the next two years. From the article: "It's an analyst group's speculation and should be taken as such, but simultaneously one has to wonder what is the likelihood of Microsoft bringing a PGC to its platform library. A portable entry seemed like the next logical step for Microsoft before E3 -- and that logic was confirmed by the announcement of Live Anywhere at E3 -- a handheld platform would certainly make a solid launching pad for the mobile arm of Live Anywhere, wouldn't it?"

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48 comments

ZONK YOU ASSHOLE ASSHOLE ASSHOLE ASSHOLE (1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437085)

Asshole.

Origami? (2, Interesting)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437109)

...so those totally-unfounded rumors of someone playing Halo on an Origami prototype start seeming a bit more substantial.

Re:Origami? (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15438374)

Yes. Now they are totally-unfounded rumors that you can buy for the low low price of $2490! [tdgresearch.com]

Re:Origami? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15442013)

origami has been released and of course you can play Halo on it, at least hte PC version. Origami is a fully blown tablet PC, hence any PC game will work on it. Why the hell was such an idiotic post modded up, man my respect for this site is plummeting.

How may Predictions? (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437131)

How many analysts need to predict an MS handheld before MS either admits they're working on it or the analysts get bored and give up. Seriously if it's already been predicted by someone else is it even still a prediction, or just agreement with a previous prediction?

Besides I don't think MS will be going after a handheld of their own so much as pushing a new universal gaming software. Some form of windows/direct X that they can push to PDA and Cell phone makers. I think they'd want this more from the software angle then the hardware. I have a feeling if they ever did make a handheld it would be some bastardized cell-phone thing along the lines of the N-Gage.

Re:How may Predictions? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15438465)

The thing is that gaming "platforms" don't work. Look at the problem with cellphones and gaming. Even if they all had the same Java implementation, which they don't, the devices would have different capabilities, different processors, blah blah blah. It worked with 3DO, but the units were too expensive for something without hardware 3D acceleration (making the name particularly questionable) and they died. However, they mandated the same core hardware, with only the peripheral parts of the puzzle to be developed by the vendor. Microsoft would have to do the same thing, and I doubt that it would be especially more effective than just contracting someone to make the damn things themselves.

Re:How may Predictions? (3, Informative)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15438480)

Yes, Microsoft has already said exactly that. See XNA [wikipedia.org] and Live Anywhere [wikipedia.org] .

Xbox Marketplace distribution of games (1)

9mm Censor (705379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437183)

I would love to see this. have games similar to those from www.addictinggames.com downloadable for a couple bucks onto a handheld.

Have microsoft charge little or give a simple "flash games-esk" SDK and make money as a publisher/distributer of cheap and simple timewasting games.

Halo can already run on the Origami (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437200)

Isn't the Origami just a small tablet PC running a variation of Windows XP? I have a Sony Vaio U70 from a couple of years ago that's essentially the same thing as these Origami computers and that thing has Halo installed on it. It runs quite well, I might add, except for the fact it doesn't run with some of the more advanced visual effects.

Maybe you were making a joke and I completely missed it.

Re:Halo can already run on the Origami (3, Informative)

bandrzej (688764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437650)

No. The Origami (generation 1) all are using onboard shared video of either the Intel Mobile or Via chipset. They can barely play games from 3+ years ago with Direct X 9.0c.

Some guy here got WOW to run (barely): http://www.umpcbuzz.com/blogs/jayhawk_phrenzie/arc hive/2006/05/30/9488.aspx [umpcbuzz.com]

The 800x480 resolution is another limiting factor. Most games today do not support that resolution.

For the curious, you can read some of the attempts here: http://origamiproject.com/forums/thread/4000.aspx [origamiproject.com]

Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15437217)

Snore

Oblig (1)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437240)

What we all want to know is, "Can I put Linux on it?"

Re:Oblig (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437528)

What? You haven't gotten marked as a troll yet?

Shame on the /. gestapo!

THIS POSTER IS OBVIOUSLY A TROLL!

(When you do get Linux on the MS handheld let me know. I'd love to try it myself.)

TROLL, I SAY!

Re:Oblig (1)

Bryant68 (978283) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442619)

Actually, my question is "I wonder how hard I have to throw it at the wall to break it".

History of failures ... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15437263)

Sega Game Gear
Atari Linx
Neo Geo Pocket
Wonderswan Color
N-Gage
(potentially) PSP
and many more ...

Every company that has ever thought of entering the gaming market has decided to produce a handheld device, which is (almost) always assumed to be the end to Nintendo's dominance. Every last one of them has had all success limited to a region and been eventually knocked out of the market by Nintendo.

Essentially, if Microsoft wanted to lose another billion dollars a year with limited success in the gaming market I would advise them to produce a handheld gaming device ... if they ever want to trun a profit though ...

Re:History of failures ... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437457)

Mod parent up.

His post captures the situation beautifully. There's simply no profit in challenging Nintendo's dominance in the handheld market.

If I were to point to a single factor as key to the demise of all the above handhelds, it would be that they tried to use technology far in excess of the battery technology, pricing models, and media formats that consumers would accept. Yet they almost have to make that tradeoff to compete.

If a new handheld device positions itself behind the technology curve (like the Gameboy does), it will only find itself to be a clone of the Gameboy. Which makes the consumer purchasing decision an easy one: Which one has more high-quality games? The Gameboy or the new Super Wonder Gizmo 3000 XP?

Given that the Gameboy has over a decade of history behind it while the Super Wonder Gizmo 3000 XP has about 10 minutes of history, the choice ends up being a no brainer. The Gameboy. Every time.

Re:History of failures ... (1)

Metroid72 (654017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15438834)

"There's simply no profit in challenging Nintendo's dominance in the handheld market."

Although I've traditionally sided with Nintendo, I must say that I don't agree with this statement. Competition is always encouraged. What I've noticed is that Nintendo has seen no benefit from going into a hardware "Arms war" in the primary console market and they've learned from that, hence the DS and the Wii. The benefit to them is an expanding consumer base, and the benefit to us is less of the "same old, same old"(*)

If the maket leader doesn't see their dominance threatened, they won't be forced to innovate (oh.. unless you're Sony and all the 3rd parties are riding on the installed base and brand loyalty)
(*) Before you anybody jumps into the franchise debate: There's a big difference between reusing characters in games with evolved gameplay and interactivity, AND just re-releasing the same game with improved graphics and sound.

Re:History of failures ... (1, Insightful)

ZakuSage (874456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437786)

PSP's sales have kept exceedingly high, and it has done quite well. It is not a potentially failure, it's already succeded in offering gamers a new way to play handheld games, and has brought much needed competition to a virtual monopoly. Just because it's not dominating the handheld scene, doesn't mean it's not a success. I point you to XBox and the GameCube.

MOD PARENT UP +1 only (1)

ZakuSage (874456) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440545)

Oh of course! I say competition is a good thing, and I get modded down for trolling. Only on slashdot

Xbox and Cube were also failures (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442632)

I point you to XBox and the GameCube.

Which were both also failures, as admitted even by Nintendo. But at least they had more than two or three worthwhile games, unlike the PSP.

The PSP is a failure already (especially judged by the expectations people and Sony had for it), and if Sony can't get a few more good, new PSP games out, it'll be dead by this time next year.

Re:Xbox and Cube were also failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15447507)

You are wrong. You are a troll. Gamecube and XBox have both sold well enough, and had good enough games.

PSP is nearly to the sales of the two afformentioned consoles in just over a year (in US). Additionally, I could name 6 or 7 excellent PSP games, and many more good/great titles.

Re:Xbox and Cube were also failures (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448902)

You are wrong. You are a troll. Gamecube and XBox have both sold well enough, and had good enough games.

You're right. I'm a Troll, the Cube has sold well, and war is peace. Come on, Nintendo itself admits that the Cube failed. Look, I own two gamecubes. I'm a total Nintendo fanboy. I love the Cube. But nobody can deny that it was a failure, just like the Xbox. There are only two positive things about the Cube: One, it has some awesome games. Two, despite not selling well, it didn't kill Nintendo.


PSP is nearly to the sales of the two afformentioned consoles in just over a year (in US). Additionally, I could name 6 or 7 excellent PSP games, and many more good/great titles.

Okay, then, why don't you? I call bullshit. There are three decent games from the top of my head: Katamari (pretty much the same as the PS2 version), GTA (pretty much the same as the PS2 version) and Lumines (almost as good as Meteos). There are some decent racers (Ridge Racer and that F-Zero clone - just kidding :-). So if you include all of these as "excellent PSP games" (even though three are pretty much just PS2 ports), that's five games.

Any others you want to ad to this list?

When the PSP came out, I figured I'd get one about a year later, when a few good games were available and the price had come down a bit. Well, I'm still waiting for the games.

Re:Xbox and Cube were also failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449751)

Syphon Filter: The Dark Mirror
GTA Liberty City Stories
Monster Hunter Freedom
Daxter
Lumines
Me and My Katamar
Tales of Eternia

...bitch

Re:Xbox and Cube were also failures (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15451919)

Syphon Filter: The Dark Mirror
GTA Liberty City Stories
Monster Hunter Freedom
Daxter
Lumines
Me and My Katamar
Tales of Eternia

...bitch

You're the first person I know who signs with "bitch", but whatever works for you I guess. As I already said, GTA is okay, but it's pretty much a port from the PS2 version. Not something I play on a portable, anyway. I give you Siphon Filter (although I don't play FPS). Never heard of Monster Hunter Freedom, but it got an average rating of 72% on gamerankings, hardly "excellent." Tales of Eternia I must give, too.

So that's all you can come up with? That's what the PSP has achieved during its time on the market? Some PS2 ports, some average games which PSP fanboys think are "excellent" and still only one innovative, new, fun game - Lumines - which has a similar and, by most standards, better DS version (Meteos)? As I said, failure.

I know it hurts to admit and acknowledge that you've been suckered, but come on...

Re:Xbox and Cube were also failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15452499)

LCS is a new game, with new content, vastly updated graphics, significantly different map, and a totally new storyline and missions. Hardly a port.

Syphone Filter is not an FPS, it's s 3rd person shooter.

Monster Hunter Freedom is an amazing game, no matter what certain reviewers try to tell you. If you look at GameSpot's review, for example, it's almost as if the reviewer played 3 seconds of the game and just copied and pasted his Monster Hunter review (literally, several paragraphs are exact copies).

Lumines >> Meteos, which just goes to show you've never played a PSP or the game.

Stop trolling, you know PSP's not dieing, no more then DS. Neither is going anywhere because they both offer different things, both unique in the handheld market and they both appeal to vastly different people.

Heh... (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15454714)

Lumines >> Meteos, which just goes to show you've never played a PSP or the game.

No, it just proves that you're much more of a Sony fanboy than I'm a Nintendo fanboy :-P

Seriously, almost every freaking Meteos review mentioned that this was what Lumines was always meant to be. Nothing against Lumines, it's a great game. It's just that Meteos is better.


Stop trolling, you know PSP's not dieing

Look, I know you're scared and pissed. Nobody wants to shell out hundreds of bucks just to find out that he bought a console that was dead the day it came out. But that's the way it is. You need to get over your cognitive dissonance and acknowledge the facts.

Nah, come on, I'm just pushing your buttons :-)

As long as Sony won't kill the PSP like Sega killed the DC, new games will appear. Who knows, some of them might even not be crap.

Microsoft's main goal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15437276)

I thought the reason MS entered the video game market was to gain control of the living room. How does a portable fit into this goal?

Re:Microsoft's main goal (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437312)

because it would require MS xbox and MS TV and MS Xbox Live and MS IE to be able to take a game from a website and download it to your xbox via xbox live and use the xbox TV interface for loading the game from the xbox onto the device. therefore you have purchased

1. vista
2. xbox
3. xbox live
4. MS TV (coming soon!)
5. handheld
6. game

just to play halo on the school bus. if thats not lock in a dont know what is.

HAH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15437296)

Good luck.

The OS (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437330)

And it will run Microsoft Vista Pocket Gaming Edition Premium Platinum 20ought8.

good news (1)

kh4n (229345) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437341)

If this thing is sold below cost and is anywhere near as hackable as the xbox, this could be very good news indeed.

Handhelds (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437376)

Maybe it's just me here but does anyone really care? Sony and Microsoft don't want to make a games console. They want to sell more crap which also play games (Media centres and such). Nintendo have more or less bitch slapped the PSP and gone "And stay down n00b" with the DS. I really doubt MS can do any better, and even if they do the DS is already so big that it won't matter. People are saving for the next gen console set (360, PS3 and Wii), so won't buy another handheld for another year or two at least.

Plus lets be honest here, WTF does the Xbox have that will work on a small scale? Other than Halo the Xbox doesn't have any real killer aps or a real fanbase outside of fanboys.

Re:Handhelds (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437630)

"Plus lets be honest here, WTF does the Xbox have that will work on a small scale?"

Xbox Live Arcade, of course. Imagine that, instead of hauling around UMDs, cartridges, or whatever, that your handheld had a micro drive, or flash storage (flash RAM has been dropping like a stone these days). You'd buy games from Live Arcade, and they'd work on your your Xbox 360 or your Xbox 180 (as I like to call the theoretical handheld). Maybe they could be combined with Live Anywhere and sold on PCs and mobile phones, if it wouldn't cannibalize hardware sales too badly.

So, not only would this handheld be selling Live Arcade on its own, but the 360 would get a boost, too, from the expanded library. Throw in a little cross-platform functionality ala the Gamecube and GBA, and you'd have a superb gaming platform.

If Microsoft was smart, they'd make it a Portable Media Center, too, like what they did with the 360 and Media Center Extender. That'd expand their MCE ecosystem, and give it a better chance of killing the PSP (which, contrary to the parent's assertions, did pretty well in the USA).

-Erwos

Re:Handhelds (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437721)

I agree, not so much with the "not having killer apps", my friends with XBoxen are quite happy with them, and say that there are quite a few great games for the system. But what's going to be a problem is that MS never had experience with "simple games", in fact, any developers who seem to be working on any kind of simple games (ie: 2D) are usually put out to pasture. Nintendo had years of experience with the NES and SNES. They have a huge back catalog to grab onto to support a portable system. While a few epic games have been successfull on a handheld (Golden Sun series, or Final Fantasy IV advance), the mainstay of handhelds are going to be the quirky, simple games that you can pick up and put down at any time. Basically, this is the complete opposite of what you want to market a fullsized console for, these days. Sony really blew it with the PSP, and MS are not usually very good at learning stuff like this. People are just starting to wake up and realize that full sized consoles are all about fun, but that's been a common concensus throughout the life of portable systems. Features that make handhelds 'little full-sized consoles', or bundling them as movie layers or media players never work. The simpler, the more concentrated on gaming, the better, and MS, frankly, sucks at this. I could imagine MS putting out a gaming system that's also a PDA, mp3 player, and cell phone, and it will sell like sand sells in the desert. I think they sorta realize this, though, from watching Sony, which is probably why they haven't attempted it. NOONE is more entrenched in the portable market than Nintendo, in fact, noone else has ever succeeded with a handheld. The closest thing was the Sega GameGear, but even that couldn't touch the GameBoy. Nintendo was never so entrenched, on a multi-generational level, in the full-sized console market. They were the only game in town during the NESs time, but Sega was hot on their heals during the time of the SNES. Compare this to the GameBoy line (now becoming the DS line), which has managed to outsell any of its competitors by two fold, for almost 20 years!

Re:Handhelds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440737)

I modded you down just for saying 'Xboxen'.

Palm (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441543)

NOONE is more entrenched in the portable market than Nintendo, in fact, noone else has ever succeeded with a handheld.

I didn't know Peter Noone was in on the Palm platform.

Does this make any business sense? (1)

Metroid72 (654017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437491)

AFAIK, Xbox/Xbox360 are just bleeding money on this business unit.
Why would MS rush into a secondary market when they haven't even made money on the primary market?
It makes sense to do some R&D, but a 2007 release is unlikely.
But... with Zillions in cash reserves and not being apologetic about their operating costs, anything is possible.

Quick (1)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437512)

Quick, trademark P-Box and Pbox...and pbox360

I can see it now, going into a store: "Can I have one Mega P Box Bundle, you know, the one that comes with the free cleaning brush"

Doubt it... (1)

Bagels (676159) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437555)

This "analyst speculation" flies in the face of what Microsoft is actually doing in the handheld realm - namely, giving fairly strong support to the DS. There's a version of Mechassault on its way, and Rare is doing up a new version of Diddy Kong Racing with some fairly nice extras (better graphics and a touchscreen-based track editor). If these rumors were true, I'd bet they wouldn't be using their licenses or developers for the benefit of a semi-direct competitor.

Re:Doubt it... (1)

lion2 (779555) | more than 8 years ago | (#15438278)

Don't forget Age of Empires for the DS.

Re:Doubt it... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15438523)

I disagree. They can always bring out "expanded" versions only for their console, and in the meantime developers get more practice making mobile games.

Should forget about it. (2, Interesting)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437710)

Lets face it ( I have ) Nintendo dominates in hand held gaming. Like the iPod and digital music players, the Gameboy is iconic for this market.

The PSP is an utter failure. Sony tried to make a portable game console that uses the same gaming concepts that makes its PS and PS2 popular, but they ignored that portable gaming is not about sports games, or even complicated RPGs or First person shooters. Portable gaming is about 20 - 60 minutes of diversion while sitting on a bus or riding a plane or putting your feet up at home. What few puzzler and other "quick fix" like games are available on the PSP are generally poorly though out (like Smart Bomb). There isn't even a tetris game out for the PSP. Instead, Sony focuses on sprawling adventure games, RPS, sports franchises, and other non-arcade or puzzle games.

Microsoft will fail too because the most popular gaming titles that are played on Live are Halo/FPS, Sports Games, and MMORPG's. All these genres do not make successful portable gamining titles. Live will fail as a portable product because if your travelling, your never going to have WiFi access long enough to play any of these games. You will have to be a home, or in some dedicated environment to play Live on a portable console, and if you HAVE to be in a specific location, then why not just play it on the Xbox or Xbox360?

Sony has, and Microsoft will, fail to understand what makes the portable gaming franchise successful. Sony still hasn't gotten a clue as to what would have made the PSP a successful product. The fact that Sony tried to make a device that works with both games and multimedia pretty much sealed the PSP fate because even the PSP's multimedia handling is poorly implemented. Music playback could be significantly improved on the device (i.e. get rid of the necessity for a folder structure and use a database file like the iPod) and video playback without TV out support? I mean, Sony failed in every aspect of the PSP, from its multimedia handling, to its games, to the fact that there is a strong community of people that WANT to develop for it, but Sony considers them criminals. Sony failed in ever way.

Microsoft might gain a little more success if they base a portable game system on their Mobile Windows platform. If Microsoft allows for homebrew applications which can be developed easily using Visual Studio with a familiar API like DirectX and Windows SDK then they could make a ubiquitous device that will have more then just gaming potential, but Mirosoft won't allow this. Microsoft will bastardize a version of Windows Mobile to prevent homebrew applications. Microsoft will err the way Sony has, buy trying to release a portable version of Halo with Live support or other non-portable genre's of games that won't work in most mobile cases. Unless something like WiMax is released in 2007 where you can have ubiquitous online access across a city or even country, a portable version of Live will fail.

In the end, I think that Nintendo has a strong grip hold in the portable gaming market. Devices like the NGage and PSP have failed to captivate an audience, all Nintendo did to counter these releases is come out with a different color of their Gameboy or DS and they still get more sales then the other devices combined. Also consider that by 2007 Nintendo should be on schedule to release a next generation Gameboy or sucessor to the DS. Microsoft won't be able to compete with the anticipation of a new Nintendo portable game system.

Microsoft will offer just another portable system that will have mediocre appeal and will most likely cripple its success by implementing too many poorly implemented features and DRM protection schemes.

Re:Should forget about it. (0)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 8 years ago | (#15438255)

I don't know/ For one thing, there are a (small) handful of good traditional-handheld games on the PSP...Lumines, Metal Gear Acid 1 and 2, Hot Shots Golf, Katamari, etc. And frankly, the other games you discuss are, by and large, well done. The market that the PSP is trying to corner has been more or less untapped to date (the DS has tried, but for the most part can't do it) and it's not for lack of desire. I -want- the type of games the PSP does.

That said, there are some problems.

The first, and I think you touched on this, is that too many of the games are more or less identical to the console counterparts, but on a tiny screen and with longer loading times. The PSP really has the opportunity to cater to hardcore gamers who are left somewhat underwhelmed by the Nintendo hardware, but most of us also own all the big consoles. If the same game comes out for the PSP and the Xbox 360, or even the PS2, which do you think I'm probably going to buy?

The second is that the controls suck. Yeah, I know, it's the classic cliched bitch, but it's true. The current crop of hardcore action games more or less require two analog controllers, and the PSP only has one. I -hate- trying to manage a two-stick game using the joystick and the button diamond. Honestly, if uSoft came out with something roughly equivalent to the PSP but with the full complement of controller bits, I think it'd be incredibly successful among the hardcore gamer set.

The third is what you said--it's trying to be a jack of all trades device. That said, they didn't make too many tradeoffs on the game side of it to try to cater to multimedia, and it doesn't bug me much. I just don't use those features (aside from occasionally using it as an O'Reilly Safari reader :D).

I don't think the PSP is a failure in any sort of general sense. I think it's the first of a new generation of handheld devices--much more so than the DS is. The DS is more of a side-story...it has some innovative features, and it's certainly a solid device, but I don't see touch screens taking the world by a storm. Having more screen space is nice, but frankly, I prefer the PSP visuals. I just don't see the DS strongly influencing the next few handhelds, whereas I do think the next entity--Sony or Microsoft--to put out a refined version of the PSP with better ergos and console-style controls will see some serious success.

Re:Should forget about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440814)

I'm pretty sure nintendo announced at this year's E3 that they are no longer currently planning to release a follow-up to the DS or Gameboy, based on the success of the Nintendo DS.

Tetris is a registered trademark (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441962)

There isn't even a tetris game out for the PSP.

That's because Nintendo probably bought an exclusive license from The Tetris Company LLC.

MS doesn't have to follow reason (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15438509)

MS had several reasons to launch the x-box. First MS is always looking at a way to make itself less depended on its two cash cows windows and office. To achieve this they tried to get into internet, content, web-tv, mobile phones, high performance computing etc etc.

Either they fear something happening to their cash generators or they are just on the quest for more money.

So far perfectly normal business.

But another reason is that they went into consoles to stop Sony. MS fundamentlly believes that the PC on the desk in the study is going to disappear or at least be reduced. The so called living room PC will take over. Wether that is in the form of web-tv or thin clients or the mobile phone MS don't know what they do now is that they don't want anyone else getting their paws on whatever it is going to be.

Enter the PS2. Enter linux. Enter linux on the PS2. When MS learned of this it shit itself. There is only one reason for Sony to mess with Linux and all those evil hacker commies and that is if they want to see if they can have an desktop OS on their millions of consoles. Turning them instantly into living room PC's.

Does Sony want this? Doesn't matter, what matters is what MS thinks Sony wants. There certainly is no love lost between the two or japan tech industry in general and a lot of people would love to see MS loose its hold on the PC market. While it is doubtfull the PS2 or PS3 could ever be a full fledged Linux PC can MS ignore this direct threat to its two cash cows (PS3/Linux won't be running office you can be sure off that)

I think MS partly launched the x-box for the same reasons it went into the browser wars. To stop its competitors from controlling the market.

If you look at the x-box it didn't really do anything new. People complain about the PS3 being not being as innovative as the Wii but the x-box and 360 are just plain carbon copies of the most basic console functions. Except for the bits inherited from the PC, the whole "live" idea. MS certainly did not use its massive resource to outtech Sony, just as with IE it did the minimum that it hoped could disrupt Sony's stranglehold on the console market.

It sorta worked. Remember how IE forced netscape to rush their browser development leading to the dreaded version 4? Is Sony perhaps feeling a little rushed and does this account for the "not ready yet" feel the PS3 gives everyone? On its own the PS2 could have lasted another year at least maybe two. Plenty of time for the PS3 tech to be ready.

The 360 is not innovative, it doesn't push the tech envelope and doesn't do anything new. Yet it is out and the PS3 is not and Sony surely must know about the first mover advantage.

But we are not talking about the big consoles, we are talking about handhelds.

Well the same logic would apply, MS is always looking for another way to make money but at the moment it is already very busy and the handheld market is not easy.

So would it have the desire to disrupt the current market. Nintendo is the absolute master of the handhelds with the PSP being a worthy contender but with a lot of catching up to do.

Nintendo is so far NOT competing with MS in anyway. The gameboy line, until the opera browser game launches, is 100% a game console and Nintendo is not about to release a linux distro for it. Nintendo knows its place and gets patted on its head by its masters. (At least that seems to be MS vision of the world considering recent statements about people buying the 360 AND the Wii instead of the PS3)

Sony however is with the PSP making more then a game device. It now has a pretty complete web browser and can play movies and music. It doesn't excell at tbis but it could be argued it is comes close to a PC.

Getting into MS turf? Maybe. MS has long toes.

The only reason for MS to go into yet another hardware project bound to loose them money is if they feel that not to do so might loose them a market they don't want to be controlled by their enemy.

And Sony is very much MS'es enemy, openly using linux on its hardware, supporting linux development, these ain't things that make MS happy.

NOT because linux is a direct threat in the traditional sense like say OS/2 was once. The threat is in erosion. The more "pc" like devices there are wich are NOT running MS software the more software will have to be able to just run anywhere. You can already see this on the web. The days of IE only websites seem to be passing (IE7 might bring them back) and because you are no longer forced to use IE you can use other browsers and because you can use other browsers fewer sites force you to use IE. People who talk about firefox needing to get a 50%+ share of the market ain't got a clue. MS already trembles at the thought of IE share dropping to something like 80%. It don't matter if the remainder of the share is spread over firefox/mozilla, opera, safari. What matters is the point at wich no site can afford to be MS only. If that is reached then nothing stands in the way of IE's total collapse. Or would IE6 compete on capabilities? Reliability? Security? Yeah right.

Same with the PC. Imagine if someone, say sony, introduced a machine that allowed you to do everything you did on a MS pc but without being MS? Would you buy that? Forget for a moment about the rootkit crap. Do you think there is a market for a non wintel PC? Linux fans this is the time to show where your allegiance lies.

MS doesn't care about apple and it don't care about Sony. It cares about making sure the desktop is controlled by MS so that all software only works on their software. If MS share is reduced then it can no longer compete by being the only option but has to compete on merit. MS software. Competing on merit. Comedy classic.

So if you want to know if MS is going to do a handheld you need to find out if MS thinks that the handheld market is a threat to its current markets. I don't think so but then I am not superrich and paranoid. If the PSP takes off I can see MS getting its panties in a twist but considering the PSP is dropping in price everywhere I don't think so. Not now. To close to the launch of the 360.

The answer is... (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440175)

a handheld platform would certainly make a solid launching pad for the mobile arm of Live Anywhere, wouldn't it?

No. Get over it. Microsoft is not going to launch a handheld, they're crazy not stupid.

Microsoft already has handheld gaming. (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15455829)

My Dell Axim X51v came with Bubble Breaker & Solitaire!

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