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Microsoft to enter portable gaming in '07, '08, says TDG

Posted: 02 Jun 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:portable game console  PGC  Microsoft  TDG  The Diffusion Group 

A new research from The Diffusion Group suggests that Microsoft is likely to leverage its Xbox franchise to enter the portable game console (PGC) market in late 2007 or early 2008. According to the report, Microsoft is expected to embed a portable multimedia player in a handheld gaming platform similar in many respects to Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP).

"Microsoft has been waiting on the sidelines until its gaming console and software business reached sustainability, all the while watching closely how Nintendo and consumers in general would respond to Sony's PSP," said Thomas Wolf, a portable media analyst. "With global PGC revenues expected to reach Rs.13,533 crore ($3 billion) annually by 2008, and with only Sony and Nintendo active in the PGC space, Microsoft has before it an incredible opportunity. It has a critical brand presence in the console space, the breadth and depth of gaming titles, and the marketing clout necessary to enter this space and win decent market share."

According to TDG, Microsoft has been evaluating two options regarding its portable gaming strategy: licensing a version of its Xbox OS for others to build portable hardware designs upon, or introducing its own branded PGC.

"While licensing the software is consistent with Microsoft's larger strategy, and no doubt Microsoft has endured many failures in regard to hardware plays, the success of the Xbox presents Microsoft with an opportunity," said Michael Greeson, CEO of TDG. "Microsoft owns an established brand, meaning that they can enter the PGC market from a position of strength, a privilege not enjoyed by any other player except those already active in the PGC space."

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