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Xbox Handheld Officially Confirmed?

Shane KimRumors have been running rampant of a Microsoft handheld for years, with nothing ever materializing. Every E3 comes with great speculation on Microsoft’s answer to the DS and PSP, but when the convention doors close, the handheld is nowhere to be seen. Now, Microsoft corporate vice president Shane Kim finally sheds some light on Microsoft’s plans for entering the handheld market, and reaffirms that something is indeed on the way.

“For us, it’s a matter of focusing on ‘when’, because if we chased after a mobile or handheld opportunity, we would not have the resources and ability to do things like… Project Natal,” said Kim, in response to whether he sees room for the Xbox brand in portable gaming in the future. “So we’ve chosen to focus on the living room experience from a hardware standpoint, if you will, but we’re building a service in Live that will… will extend to other platforms. No question about it.”

One other question facing the company is what form a mobile gaming device would take. “How do we enter into that market,” pondered Kim. “Do we do our own device, do we create our own phone–that’s a question for the company itself–do we continue to go down the Windows Mobile path, which is the path that we’re on today, etcetera, etcetera.”

Sounds like Microsoft is intent on delivering some sort of handeheld experience to gamers sometime down the road, but it also seems like they’re indecisive on which direction to take. Whether or not they decide to have a full-fledged gaming platform or something more along the lines of a mobile device heavily concentrated on Windows Live remains to be seen, but something besides a powered up Zune is coming from Microsoft. Who knows, maybe it’ll show up at next years E3.

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