With the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, and, most recently, the Nintendo Switch, both Nintendo and Sony have their entries in the handheld market. Now, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has revealed that Microsoft has previously looked at joining that race, too—but held off because of the “power of a television.”
“Well,” Spencer said, speaking to Gamasutra, “let me say that the amount of times we’ve designed, roughly designed, an Xbox handheld, or a cheap Xbox kind of stick that you could plug in and stream from an Xbox in the home, or play low-powered games… We are always thinking and brainstorming on different scenarios of where the console could go. Or [where] the gaming experience, I guess, more specifically, could go.
“In terms of where console will go, I still believe in the power of a television in the home… I believe in that television experience, which I really believe console is docked to, in my mind. Console, let’s four of us grab controllers and try to go play Overcooked and yell and swear at each other… I think that experience is magical. And I think it’s something that—I know it’s something that we’re committed to, in the long run.”
Spencer also spoke about the handheld market back in February. At that time, he revealed that Microsoft also stayed out of the handheld market because of the emerging smartphone market.
“Our view was that phones would take almost all of the mobile gaming market, mostly,” he Tweeted at the time.
As a result, Microsoft has focused all of its efforts on the more traditional home console market. We’ll see the fruit of those efforts soon, when Microsoft fully unveils Project Scorpio.