A few years ago, I was very optimistic about seeing an Xbox portable launch that would compete against Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo's DS line. But as time has gone on, I don't think we'll see an Xbox Portable anytime soon and here's why I think so.
1. Look at the "success" of the PSP and PS Vita. People try to explain why neither haven't had as much success as Nintendo's handhelds have seen, but the bottom line is that Nintendo's is much more reasonably priced and has existed for a much longer time giving Nintendo an advantage.
Microsoft jumped into the gaming industry in the early 2000's so they don't have as much experience as Sony or Nintendo have regarding home consoles, let alone handhelds. Nintendo seems to have this section of video gaming tied down.
2. Microsoft may be giving up the Xbox division entirely to focus on making hardware for PCs and mobile devices. It has been rumored that if one of the more likelys is to take charge of Microsoft, he will let go of Bing and the entire Xbox division. This could be an indication of Microsoft not seeing reasonable profits from the system as they had expected, which would mean they would be less likely to invest more money into that area.
Although, if the Xbox division is sold or becomes separate from Microsoft, we have a chance of the new party possibly making a handheld system.
3. Microsoft has its feet in enough mobile platforms for it to dedicate one solely for video gaming. With the release of Windows Mobile 8, Microsoft announced that it would allow Mobile 8 users to play some Xbox games on their mobile phone.
Also, Microsoft has moved towards more mobile devices, mostly tablets, with its release of Windows 8 for PCs. In doing so, we have also seen more use of the Xbox name in the Windows' app store which seems to indicate that Microsoft wants to use these as gaming platforms rather than dedicate one solely for gaming.
4. Corporate gaming systems are on their way out. Let's face it: Steam, Android, and other open sources projects are taking the news by storm. While everyone does have their eyes on the PS4 and Xbox One releases, it won't last long. Consumers are tired of closed systems that don't allow players to do what they want, when they want to their systems they paid hundreds of dollars for.
With this, it may be the end of the Xbox line as we know it which would mean a no-show for any future Xbox-related hardware.
5. Xbox One has received lots of negative responses. Microsoft hasn't done a good job of announcing its hardware. They have been very open about what it is capable of doing and what it cannot do.
More people seem to be flocking to the PS4 than the Xbox One. Also, given that the PS4 is to be released first, we will see more people using this first before the Xbox One. In 2006, the Xbox 360 was launched and it did considerably better in its lifetime than the PS3 did among gamers. I would say that the release date had a lot to do with its popularity.
If the Xbox line isn't successful, as I said before, don't expect Microsoft to invest more money into it for future projects.
It's unfortunate as I'm more of a fan of actual 3-D gaming that Sony and Microsoft have been known for versus what we've seen of Nintendo in their mobile gaming. I've always wanted to see an Xbox handheld, but I don't think we will see one for a long time, if we ever do.
For now, we'll just have to be satisfied with fan-made concept art which many can be found here.
There are some interesting concepts here, but many seem too outdated, unrealistic, and others seem like they already exist such as a tablet. We may see one of these, one day, for tablets that allows PC users to unofficially run Xbox 1, 360, and/or One titles on their PC. Until then, we'll have to keep dreaming.
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