Phil Spencer Says Microsoft Isn’t Ready for Handheld Systems – “Going to Watch and Learn.”

Phil Spencer

The biggest appeal to handheld gaming systems is the ability to take your games with you anywhere you go. Sneaking in some game time on your lunch break creates a certain serenity to your otherwise monotonous work day. Handhelds have been around for decades. Nintendo, Sega, and Sony are among the bigger platform companies that have produced these miniature consoles on the go. One major company that has yet to release any kind of handheld gaming system is the tech giants Microsoft. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has entertained the idea, but claims the company just isn’t ready yet.

The release of the Nintendo Switch has had jaws dropping ever since the official announcement. One of the key selling points of Nintendo’s latest console is the ability to take your game from your home entertainment system, and seamlessly switch to a handheld device in which you can take with you. In a recent interview, Phil Spencer gave high praises to Nintendo for their innovative (as always) hardware. The question was brought up if whether or not Microsoft had any plans to dive into the handheld market. Spencer replied:

First, our relationship with Nintendo is great. They were nice enough, I got to come over and play a little early, which was nice. It was fun. I think they’ve done some really innovative work on Switch, and I love the hardware design. I got to play a few of the games, and I just think that any time Nintendo brings a new product to the gaming market, it’s good for all of us.

I got this question the other day. Somebody asked me why we’ve never done [something] that’s mobile, and I said we just kind of looked at phones as kind of dominating that market. I’m always watching to see what happens. We get a ton of people now that actually log into Xbox Live on iOS and Android devices, playing the different games, they use it there, and just checking in with their friends. I don’t know that we would do kind of a bespoke mobile device yet, but I’m going to watch. Absolutely, I’m going to watch and learn. People want to play their games wherever they are.”

It seems as though Spencer is interested in the “play on the go” platform of gaming, but it clearly isn’t a priority for the company. For now, at least. Xbox has been quite successful without a handheld companion system so far. Maybe in the future, Xbox Game Pass will become available for the iPad or Android tablets. Time will tell.

Do you think that a handheld Xbox would do well? What do you think of Phil Spencer’s take on seeing cell phones as dominating the mobile gaming market? Let us know in the comments below or start a conversation over on our Disqus. As always, be sure to follow us on Twitter to catch the hottest gaming and entertainment news 24/7.

Jon McAnally376 Posts

Hailing from the armpit of California, this most radical of nerds loves video games, comics, and collectibles (not dolls). Prepare to feast your eyes on the magical wonder that is his editorials.


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