San Francisco (CA) - A senior Microsoft executive has confirmed that the release of a mobile Xbox device was inevitable.
"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 instant-on 1080p HD, Facebook, Twitter, Project Natal," Microsoft Game Studios' corporate VP, Shane Kim, told Kikizo. "And 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."
However, Kim conceded that the company remained unsure how to enter the mobile market.
"How do we enter into that market - 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 that path that we're on today."
Kim also emphasized that Microsoft "understood" the importance of "that device" in people's lives.
"The more we make Live about valuable service and add more content, and add more ways to connect with your friends through it, we're going to need to make sure that it's on all the important platforms in people's lives," added Kim.
It should be noted that rumors of a handheld Microsoft device recently surfaced on Team Xbox - which described the nascent unit as "somewhere in-between" the Xbox and Zune platform.
"When this handheld arrives, people will say it is Microsoft's response to the iPhone, the Nintendo DS, the PSP, and so on, but it will be pretty evident that this device, its software, and services have been in the works for a very long time," a source told Team Xbox.