Microsoft won't sell a dedicated portable game device

Posted by Raven Lovecraft

Microsoft has confirmed it has no interest in selling any sort of portable Xbox, and will instead focus all of its mobile gaming energy to the new Windows Phone 7 platform.

One of the things I have been saying from day one of Windows Phone 7 is that Microsoft didn't do enough to promote the platform's gaming potential. The launch commercials said nothing about it, leaving it to look like little more than an Android wannabe.

The one aspect of WP7 that is truly unique and not available on any other operating system is in fact its connectivity to Xbox Live. That is the only differentiating factor, and Microsoft is now finally really pumping that up.

Windows Phone 7 ads now link Windows Phone 7 with the Xbox brand and Microsoft is using games as a selling point all across the promotional board.

So when asked if there would ever be a dedicated portable gaming device from Microsoft, the response, unsurprisingly, was no.

"This is our mobile platform for games. The same people who make the Halo game, the same development folks, work on this, this is our mobile console," said Microsoft mobile gaming director Kevin Unangst in a Kotaku interview.

There are currently more than 60 Xbox Live-enabled games on the platform. That means players can send friend invites to other mobile players, collect achievements that are added to their Xbox 360 account, and access many of the same features they're used to on the console.

Microsoft has reportedly sold around 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 devices since the first ones went on sale about a month ago. That's not a terrible adoption rate, but Microsoft was hoping for more.

If it can really hammer home the powerful gaming features, and prove that it's not just a copy of Android or the iPhone, it stands a chance.