Although both Nintendo and Sony continue to invest in the handheld gaming market alongside their Wii and PlayStation consoles, Microsoft appears reluctant, if not completely uninterested in joining the game.
Moreover, Redmond believes its rivals are likely wasting precious time and resources investing in such devices.
”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],” Microsoft Xbox COO Dennis Durkin opined.
“[Really], you only have a certain number of bets you can make as a company and you have to decide what you want to put your wood behind and I’m just not sure that that’s a place that I would put mine.”
Indeed, sales of Nintendo’s 3DS have significantly fallen below expectations, with the last official number (at the end of March 2011) weighing in at a mere 3.61 million units.
Obviously, not much is known about the (potential) success or failure of Sony’s PS Vita, at it is slated to globally launch at the end of 2011. However, unlike the 3DS, the Vita will be region-free and use proprietary memory cards.
While there are many gamers who would potentially be interested a Microsoft handheld console, Redmond’s attention is understandably focused on the Xbox 360/Kinect and expanding its Windows Phone 7 lineup.
Besides, as Durkin noted, the handheld market is currently saturated, and a new device would almost certainly crash and burn.