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Microsoft Merges Zune and Xbox Teams: Zune Xbox Handheld Anyone?

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Last week, Microsoft announced that the Windows Media Center and Zune software groups have been assimilated by the “same Interactive Entertainment Business group that handles the Xbox as well as all gaming.” Microsoft says that this is a logical step in terms of being able to unify their mobile platforms. On one hand, it really is a sensible step: there are separate app stores for Windows Mobile and Zune, and videos obtained by users from the Zune Marketplace can’t be transferred to their Xbox 360. This is the exact opposite at Apple, which only has iTunes for the Macs, the iPhone and the iPod Touch. But I’d like to think that Microsoft is still considering coming out with a portable Xbox/Zune combo.

xbox handheld concept

Why? Because it would be better for the portable gaming arena for another competitor to come and shake up the scene. If Redmond can come up with a device that does equally well in gaming and media playback – something that in my opinion can’t really be said of the DS, PSP, and iPhone/iPod Touch – then I’d certainly buy that gadget. And, as I said, more competition means a race for more and better features (and hopefully lower prices), which would benefit us consumers in the end.

[via Electronista, image via Digital Battle]





Comments (4):

  1. technabob says:

    While I agree about the DS and PSP not being good media players, I actually think the iPhone/iPod Touch has actually turned out to be a pretty stellar gaming platform. Sure – it doesn’t have tactile buttons, but that’s more than made up for in the sheer volume and variety of games out there. And while I think the Xbox team knows console gaming better than Apple, Sony proved with the PSP that doesn’t always help matters… And the PSP HAS physical controls – they just suck :)

    • Rob says:

      Actually, the videos from the Zune Marketplace have been available for play/download on your computer, Zune, and Xbox. This was a part of the fall update … as long as the windows live account is the same you are good to go.

      • lambert v. says:

        @Rob: Oh okay, thanks for the clarification.:D

        @technabob: My PSP’s controls do not suck!:p and Apple doesn’t have Sony’s stable of third-party game developers. At least not yet. I know that we could say the same of the PSP, that it doesn’t have the strength of the App Store behind it, but I think the App Store is dominated by games designed for quick and easy playing, not Jeanne D’ Arc/FF Tactics/God of War type games, and there are still a significant number of portable gamers – myself included – who prefer the latter over the former.

        But with game developers like Ready at Dawn starting to consider making games for Apple gadgets, the battle for the portable video game systems is already becoming more exciting.

  2. Drewzy says:

    Needs an analog on the other side to play fps properly! COD handheld would be epic!

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