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Monday, June 27, 2011

Xbox still not interested in handhelds

Sigh... this story from Engadget is just another reconfirmation that Microsoft's gaming division-- namely Xbox-- is not anywhere near close to being interested in developing a handheld gaming console.

He calls the market a "red ocean", which means there's lots of blood in the water due to the heavy competition, and presumably not enough financial rewards to make it worth swimming in that "ocean"....

The Xbox was a huge drain on Microsoft's resources... I've heard that they lost money on every original Xbox console they sold. I know that they pumped over $1 billion into Xbox during the first generation to get the name/console out there, companies developing games for it, etc. But with Sony & Nintendo already far better positioned at that time in 2000 when they were just entering the market, they knew they had to pour dumptrucks of money into it to have a chance... and I guess it paid off because they are undoubtedly a major player in the video game industry.

The thinking is that after all that work, they would have to do it ALL OVER AGAIN if they wanted a chance at similar success in the handheld gaming venue. There's no question that it is a very complex & quickly-changing market. Sony had to basically do with the PSP what Microsoft did with Xbox. But right now, the market is very different than what it was back in 2005. I'm not even sure the big boys, Sony & Nintendo, have a very good grasp of what's going on with it. Portable gaming is being done more and more on iPhone & smartphones, and they are all downloadable, have tiny price points (free-to-like $7.99 or something) compared to the huge MSRP of retail handheld games.

I know everyone's expecting the Playstation Vita will revolutionize handheld gaming, and will blow everyone else out of the water. Ahem... the same thing was said of the PSP during its first year of sales.... but with the price points of gaming being you can choose a PS Vita game for $50.00 or download a game on your phone for $5.00..... hard to argue which is the better value. Some gamers throw out the common retort that "$5.00 iPhone games are crap, I'd rather have [big Sony franchise game]" but that's beside the point.

I wish that Xbox would develop a handheld.... there was a long standing rumour that they would make one that played 1st gen Xbox games.... but Microsoft has made it clear that's not in the cards.



Anonymous said...

Just wait... out of nowwhere, there'll be an XBOX handheld that plays oringinal XBOX games, and on the go and with online and local wireless. AND it'll have any game you ever wanted....

Don said...

.... and then I wake up.


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