Jump to content

Photo

Why has Microsoft never attempted a hand-held console?

handheld hand held mobile gaming xbox microsoft

51 replies to this topic

#26 MrMaddog OFFLINE  

MrMaddog

    Dragonstomper

  • 934 posts
  • Not a 'gamer' but a video game player...
  • Location:Parts Unknown

Posted Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:45 PM

Surface runs the full version of Windows 10. Steam GOG and everything else runs on it. There are more indie games available on the platform than any other platform in history. All games can already be ported to X1 easily (from a technical standpoint). None of this has anything to do with the apps in the Windows 10 store. The store only matters for the latest innovation which is that your purchases cross between platforms which will likely be the standard for games published by MS in the future even if the store disappears completely.

 

Yeah that's just it, with Win32 apps like Steam available on mobile devices like Surface no one really gives a crap about UWA and with good reason.  There's plenty of x86-based handhelds on Kickstarter but we all know MS is trying hard to push Windows 10 store so I doubt they will make one themselves.

 

OTOH they are planning to have x86 emulation on their upcoming ARM 64-bit devices like phones so maybe someday the Steam/Xbox handheld might be a reality...



#27 Eltigro OFFLINE  

Eltigro

    River Patroller

  • 2,682 posts

Posted Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:24 PM

I really liked Zune. Not necessarily for the gaming, but for the subscription service they had where I could download a certain number of songs per month to keep and do with as I pleased and an unlimited number to listen to as long as I held the subscription. The Zune marketplace was also one thousand times easier to use than itunes imo. I don't know how many times I've had to ask google how to do some simple task concerning my phone and my pc or in itunes. Apple just had a hold on the mp3 market that MS couldn't break. Better advertising and name I think. Anyway, I remember moving into an apartment at the time and the only easily accessible gaming device I had was a zune (no iphone yet... they were around, I just didn't have one). I played that hex game quite a bit and I think there was some kind of spaceship shooter on it, too.

#28 Video OFFLINE  

Video

    Quadrunner

  • 9,458 posts
  • Location:Here

Posted Sat Mar 4, 2017 5:44 AM

I always wondered that myself.  Back in the day I would have loved to see some sort ofGBA type thing come out that played all Microsofts excellent IP's.  It seems even the console abandoned the vast majority of those said IP's  on the 360, so I moved on to playstation, since they were still making most of theirs.

 

I had hopes the Zune would lead to bigger better (maybe more handheld gamey things) but it basically flopped out.  To bad too. I loved mine. I got a later generation turd brown one.....Don't laugh, it's literally dookey brown.

 

I just wish someone would release a "gaming tablet" with actual controllers built in.  I mean, the Vita Basically is, if it was a bit bigger and android compatible it would have destroyed the handheld market.  I know there is a market for such a device.....maybe the portable aspect of the switch will finally make people see that?


Edited by Video, Sat Mar 4, 2017 5:47 AM.


#29 Eltigro OFFLINE  

Eltigro

    River Patroller

  • 2,682 posts

Posted Sat Mar 4, 2017 6:34 PM

My Zune was one of the Zune Flash models... I forget the size... but it was black.

 

I was going through a drawer one day and found it.  The battery had swollen up and split it open.  I tossed it in the trash.



#30 BillLoguidice OFFLINE  

BillLoguidice

    Dragonstomper

  • 758 posts
  • Armchair Arcade
  • Location:Burlington, NJ USA

Posted Sun Mar 5, 2017 6:45 PM

I just wish someone would release a "gaming tablet" with actual controllers built in.  I mean, the Vita Basically is, if it was a bit bigger and android compatible it would have destroyed the handheld market.  I know there is a market for such a device.....maybe the portable aspect of the switch will finally make people see that?

 

There are plenty of those out there. There's not necessarily a huge market for one. With that said, I agree that the Vita should have been able to run Android apps as well. It was most of the way there already.



#31 Video OFFLINE  

Video

    Quadrunner

  • 9,458 posts
  • Location:Here

Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:29 AM

There are?  Where?  I'm sure hard pressed to find one.  I mean joystick (or even d pad) and buttons when I say controller, and as part of the tablet when I say built in.

 

Plenty of Bluetooth controllers out there for your devices, but I don't see any tablets with the controller built in.



#32 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    You can't handle the truth. No truth-handler, you.

  • 16,471 posts
  • I deride your truth-handling abilities.

Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:14 AM

There are?  Where?  I'm sure hard pressed to find one.  I mean joystick (or even d pad) and buttons when I say controller, and as part of the tablet when I say built in.

 

Plenty of Bluetooth controllers out there for your devices, but I don't see any tablets with the controller built in.

 

Then you're looking in the wrong places. They aren't sold at retail in the US, you have to order them. 

 

Here's a start. This is where I got my GPD XD. http://www.willgoo.c...5ee42ef04f40726

 

And here's the best place to read about them. http://boards.dingoonity.org



#33 Video OFFLINE  

Video

    Quadrunner

  • 9,458 posts
  • Location:Here

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 7:02 AM

Aww. I figured something like that.  I've had to much bad luck with buying tablet type things from overseas (which is weird, cause isn't all this shit made over seas anyways?)  

 

Maybe someone will stock them at a local retailer at some point but till then 'out of the country' is pretty much as good as 'doesn't exist'

 

As for not having a call for them....well....maybe.  I personally know a lot of people who would love one, maybe I'll redirect a few there and see if someone picks one up and see how I like theirs, and if it explodes or dies in a week.



#34 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,726 posts

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 7:44 AM

 

There are plenty of those out there. There's not necessarily a huge market for one. With that said, I agree that the Vita should have been able to run Android apps as well. It was most of the way there already.

 

There aren't any mainstream ones in the west.   There's no market because it really hasn't been tried and marketed by a mainstream manufacturer in the west.  Just like there were tablet computers before iPad, but consumers didn't know they wanted one before Apple made the case for it.

 

  I agree a mainstream Android device with gaming controls seems like a logical step for mobile gaming.  At a time when it seems too risky to launch a new device in the vein of Vita/DS/GBA because of the crush of mobile gaming,  yet mobile gaming touchscreen controls are too limiting for most dedicated gamers who bought those old devices.   This hybrid type of unit would bridge the gap--  compatible with mainstream mobile games,  But comfortable for gamers who prefer physical controls.  It could have an exclusive lineup and other features so it isn't just another android device.  



#35 BillLoguidice OFFLINE  

BillLoguidice

    Dragonstomper

  • 758 posts
  • Armchair Arcade
  • Location:Burlington, NJ USA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 7:52 AM

 

There aren't any mainstream ones in the west.   There's no market because it really hasn't been tried and marketed by a mainstream manufacturer in the west.  Just like there were tablet computers before iPad, but consumers didn't know they wanted one before Apple made the case for it.

 

  I agree a mainstream Android device with gaming controls seems like a logical step for mobile gaming.  At a time when it seems too risky to launch a new device in the vein of Vita/DS/GBA because of the crush of mobile gaming,  yet mobile gaming touchscreen controls are too limiting for most dedicated gamers who bought those old devices.   This hybrid type of unit would bridge the gap--  compatible with mainstream mobile games,  But comfortable for gamers who prefer physical controls.  It could have an exclusive lineup and other features so it isn't just another android device.  

 

I don't know if I entirely agree with the "not being tried by a mainstream company" thing. Nvidia is about as mainstream as you'd get for something like this, and their wide range of Android-powered consoles and handhelds haven't exactly set the market on fire. Frankly, with the relative success of the Nintendo Switch, I'm not even sure if there is a mass market left for an Android-powered alternative anymore. It's still going to be a niche market at best. Frankly, I think for the vast majority of people, having pure touchscreen devices works just fine. For everything else, there are traditional alternatives from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. What's left is the same niche there always was.



#36 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,726 posts

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 8:36 AM

 

I don't know if I entirely agree with the "not being tried by a mainstream company" thing. Nvidia is about as mainstream as you'd get for something like this, and their wide range of Android-powered consoles and handhelds haven't exactly set the market on fire. Frankly, with the relative success of the Nintendo Switch, I'm not even sure if there is a mass market left for an Android-powered alternative anymore. It's still going to be a niche market at best. Frankly, I think for the vast majority of people, having pure touchscreen devices works just fine. For everything else, there are traditional alternatives from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. What's left is the same niche there always was.

 

Nvidia is a primarily known as a graphics company, not a game company.    Lots of non-game companies tried putting out game units out and failed.   To be done properly, it needs to be done by someone like Sony or MS, with an established software ecosystem and credibility in gaming.   Touch screen only works for certain kinds of games.   I find it hard to believe the future of mobile gaming must be limited to touch screen, or whatever Nintendo does.   I think there's a demographic not being served there.



#37 Keatah OFFLINE  

Keatah

    Missile Commander

  • 22,195 posts

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 9:07 AM

There would be no reason for them to release an Xbox Handheld anymore. It's a declining market and there's no reason to think that that decline will stop. There's simply no mainstream market for something like this anymore, particularly as smartphones (and to a lesser degree, tablets), continue their dominance. It's almost never about the best device for a given task, but often more about the most convenient. You can't beat the convenience of the one device that's with you all the time. And it's not like there's even much of a kid's market left either, because that's served just fine by smartphones and tablets.

 

A neighbor's kid has like 200 or 300 DS games and never plays them anymore. They just sit there collecting dust while the iphone sees increasing usage with apps like snapperchat and candycrusher 4.

 

It's all about convenience and satisfying the urge, not whether some platform has the best content or is better overall.

 

All it takes is a single tap or two to get into the game, as opposed to the ritual of swapping game cartridges. Heaven forbid one device has to be put down in order to pick up and use another. That takes too much time. IOS does it all in one.

 

It's a goddammned disease. Often started by parents using the devices as babysitters.


Edited by Keatah, Tue Apr 4, 2017 9:08 AM.


#38 Keatah OFFLINE  

Keatah

    Missile Commander

  • 22,195 posts

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 9:09 AM

 

Nvidia is a primarily known as a graphics company, not a game company.    Lots of non-game companies tried putting out game units out and failed.   To be done properly, it needs to be done by someone like Sony or MS, with an established software ecosystem and credibility in gaming.   Touch screen only works for certain kinds of games.   I find it hard to believe the future of mobile gaming must be limited to touch screen, or whatever Nintendo does.   I think there's a demographic not being served there.

 

What else is more popular (or works better) than touch?



#39 BillLoguidice OFFLINE  

BillLoguidice

    Dragonstomper

  • 758 posts
  • Armchair Arcade
  • Location:Burlington, NJ USA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 9:24 AM

 

Nvidia is a primarily known as a graphics company, not a game company.    Lots of non-game companies tried putting out game units out and failed.   To be done properly, it needs to be done by someone like Sony or MS, with an established software ecosystem and credibility in gaming.   Touch screen only works for certain kinds of games.   I find it hard to believe the future of mobile gaming must be limited to touch screen, or whatever Nintendo does.   I think there's a demographic not being served there.

 

I agree with Keetah's points. As for your point about "a demographic not being served there," I think it's being served just fine by the likes of Nvidia. I just don't see how there's a market beyond that, and who knows how long Nvidia will even bother sticking with it. The mainstream is already served by the hundreds of millions of touchscreen smartphones and tablets, as well as now the Nintendo Switch. The average consumer is both not discriminating enough and not willing to put in the extra effort for what is arguably minimal gain from a control-centric Android-powered device. For those that are, if you don't want the cheap Chinese stuff, you can get what Nvidia offers. 

 

Let me instead ask you this... What would an Android-powered "mainstream" device provide for the average person that would be compelling?



#40 BillLoguidice OFFLINE  

BillLoguidice

    Dragonstomper

  • 758 posts
  • Armchair Arcade
  • Location:Burlington, NJ USA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 9:27 AM

 

A neighbor's kid has like 200 or 300 DS games and never plays them anymore. They just sit there collecting dust while the iphone sees increasing usage with apps like snapperchat and candycrusher 4.

 

It's all about convenience and satisfying the urge, not whether some platform has the best content or is better overall.

 

All it takes is a single tap or two to get into the game, as opposed to the ritual of swapping game cartridges. Heaven forbid one device has to be put down in order to pick up and use another. That takes too much time. IOS does it all in one.

 

It's a goddammned disease. Often started by parents using the devices as babysitters.

 

With our youngest of three daughters being two, I can tell you that an iPhone (and to a lesser degree, iPad), makes a damned fine babysitter. She was able to master touch controls before she was 1, which I think says something about what a truly mainstream, intuitive device something touchscreen-based can be. There's minimal abstraction between what you want to do and what happens on the screen. (She uses it watch YouTube Kids mostly, by the way, but almost immediately intuited how to change videos, hide notifications, etc.; it really is the best type of interface we've developed to date)


  • jhd likes this

#41 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,726 posts

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 9:28 AM

 

What else is more popular (or works better) than touch?

 

Are you kidding?   Try loading an emulator and classic games (for instance) on a tablet and play them with the touch controls.   Chances are you die because your fingers slipped off the joypad area or buttons.   There are lots of games that touchscreen provides poor control for. 



#42 BillLoguidice OFFLINE  

BillLoguidice

    Dragonstomper

  • 758 posts
  • Armchair Arcade
  • Location:Burlington, NJ USA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 9:41 AM

 

Are you kidding?   Try loading an emulator and classic games (for instance) on a tablet and play them with the touch controls.   Chances are you die because your fingers slipped off the joypad area or buttons.   There are lots of games that touchscreen provides poor control for. 

 

Of course, but that's not the point. Most people don't care about that stuff. For them, touchscreen, and particularly touchscreen-centric games, work just fine. And it's not like a lot of games don't support physical controllers via Bluetooth if you really want and/or need that option. They do. Again, this is all relative to potential market size. There's not a huge cry for what you're suggesting, so the niche offerings more than meet the need.



#43 Professor Gull OFFLINE  

Professor Gull

    Dragonstomper

  • 709 posts
  • No pants allowed.
  • Location:Cedar Rapids IA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 9:50 AM

Anyone know if Microsoft might be looking into the wearable PC again? I recall maybe 5 -6 years back that might have been a thing and that could be a future item for gaming and portability for an environment.

 

I am not in that business so I have not heard anything else on it so just curious.



#44 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,726 posts

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 9:54 AM

Let me instead ask you this... What would an Android-powered "mainstream" device provide for the average person that would be compelling?

 

It's like this.  Sony and Nintendo used to provide portable game units that were quite popular.  They were bought by gamers and also by parents to keep their kids occupied.

 

Then the mobile revolution happened, and parents started buying tablets/kindles/ipads or whatever for their kids instead of the mobile game devices.   That lead to Sony's Vita selling below expectations.    However gamers hate these things for gaming because of poor controls.  Many would like to see another Vita.  But a company like Sony needs to have a reason to believe a new device wouldn't just flop also.

 

What the hybrid android device would do is helps tap back into the half of the market those game devices lost to tablets/phones (parents buying things to keep kids occupied) because it can do everything they can do, plus it provides exclusive features and content to make them more desirable than the run-of-the-mill android device.   The interest in the switch shows there still is still interest in mobile devices that aren't pure tablets.  I can't guarantee it will work,  but I really do think there is an appetite for good controls in the mobile space in a convenient form factor



#45 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,726 posts

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 9:59 AM

And it's not like a lot of games don't support physical controllers via Bluetooth if you really want and/or need that option. They do. Again, this is all relative to potential market size. There's not a huge cry for what you're suggesting, so the niche offerings more than meet the need.

 

I knew that would come up.  Yes you can pair BT controllers, but it's not convenient.  You want to take these things on a trip, you have to pack the device, plus a controller that's larger than the device itself.  And unless you have a mount of some sort, you end up holding the device in one hand and the controller in the other.

 

There wasn't a huge cry for touch screens either, but they came out and people bought them.    Products often create demand.   After 40 years of playing videogames with physical controllers, I find it hard to believe there's no more demand for such things.



#46 BillLoguidice OFFLINE  

BillLoguidice

    Dragonstomper

  • 758 posts
  • Armchair Arcade
  • Location:Burlington, NJ USA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 10:00 AM

 

It's like this.  Sony and Nintendo used to provide portable game units that were quite popular.  They were bought by gamers and also by parents to keep their kids occupied.

 

Then the mobile revolution happened, and parents started buying tablets/kindles/ipads or whatever for their kids instead of the mobile game devices.   That lead to Sony's Vita selling below expectations.    However gamers hate these things for gaming because of poor controls.  Many would like to see another Vita.  But a company like Sony needs to have a reason to believe a new device wouldn't just flop also.

 

What the hybrid android device would do is helps tap back into the half of the market those game devices lost to tablets/phones (parents buying things to keep kids occupied) because it can do everything they can do, plus it provides exclusive features and content to make them more desirable than the run-of-the-mill android device.   The interest in the switch shows there still is still interest in mobile devices that aren't pure tablets.  I can't guarantee it will work,  but I really do think there is an appetite for good controls in the mobile space in a convenient form factor

 

I don't know if there's any "tapping back into that market." That market might be gone for good. We all know that "good enough" almost always wins the day over "the best". Smartphones and tablets as-is have certainly proven themselves "good enough." There's not a huge cry for bulkier devices, and again, it's not like there aren't options to address the lack of physical controls for those so motivated. 



#47 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,726 posts

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 10:15 AM

 

I don't know if there's any "tapping back into that market." That market might be gone for good. We all know that "good enough" almost always wins the day over "the best". Smartphones and tablets as-is have certainly proven themselves "good enough." There's not a huge cry for bulkier devices, and again, it's not like there aren't options to address the lack of physical controls for those so motivated. 

 

Things have a way of coming back especially when you lose something in the name of progress.   People thought game consoles were dead because of computers in the 80s,  but computers lost the cartridge simplicity and low price points, so consoles came back.    And who expected to see such a vinyl resurgence?  Many feel that digital audio lost something.   Nintendo Switch seems to be selling quite well, so I think there Is an appetite not being served by pure touch-screen devices. 



#48 BillLoguidice OFFLINE  

BillLoguidice

    Dragonstomper

  • 758 posts
  • Armchair Arcade
  • Location:Burlington, NJ USA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 10:35 AM

 

Things have a way of coming back especially when you lose something in the name of progress.   People thought game consoles were dead because of computers in the 80s,  but computers lost the cartridge simplicity and low price points, so consoles came back.    And who expected to see such a vinyl resurgence?  Many feel that digital audio lost something.   Nintendo Switch seems to be selling quite well, so I think there Is an appetite not being served by pure touch-screen devices. 

 

Yes, vinyl, typewriters, etc., all have made NICHE comebacks. There's no comeback needed for the type of device you're describing. It's already at the niche level, easily equivalent to things like vinyl. And when vinyl, typewriters, etc., do make a comeback, it's only a small percentage of people who bother. These are not huge movements, merely movements that are popular enough to have a sustainable industry. Every type of device and option is already available in the world of videogames.



#49 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    River Patroller

  • 2,726 posts

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 10:58 AM

 

Yes, vinyl, typewriters, etc., all have made NICHE comebacks. There's no comeback needed for the type of device you're describing. It's already at the niche level, easily equivalent to things like vinyl. And when vinyl, typewriters, etc., do make a comeback, it's only a small percentage of people who bother. These are not huge movements, merely movements that are popular enough to have a sustainable industry. Every type of device and option is already available in the world of videogames.

 

Vinyl was big enough that record companies started issuing albums on vinyl again to meet demand.  You can buy turntable hardware again.  

 

I honestly don't think desire for physical controls is as niche as you say.  A lot of people won't even play current mobile games because of the controls.



#50 BillLoguidice OFFLINE  

BillLoguidice

    Dragonstomper

  • 758 posts
  • Armchair Arcade
  • Location:Burlington, NJ USA

Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 11:53 AM

 

Vinyl was big enough that record companies started issuing albums on vinyl again to meet demand.  You can buy turntable hardware again.  

 

I honestly don't think desire for physical controls is as niche as you say.  A lot of people won't even play current mobile games because of the controls.

 

Yes, vinyl sales contribute about $400 million to the music industry's $40+ billion dollars in sales. That's a healthy niche, but still a niche. The average person is not running out to buy vinyl records, and most music is not even released on the format. That's not going to change.

 

Mobile games only present a problem when they're not designed with a touch-first mentality. That's a design issue, not a controls issue. As I said, I seriously doubt the average person is clamoring for the bulk of onboard physical controls, nor are they clamoring for more devices that do the same things as their existing devices. For the people who do, there are options, including external controls, and very good purpose-built devices. Like vinyl, there's enough there for a sustainable niche, but likely nothing more. Heck, if there was a reasonable market, you'd think one of the Android makers would release a handset with physical controls to try and differentiate their product among the sea of competition. It's telling that no one has. It's clear that the current system is meeting the needs of the vast majority of people.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: handheld, hand held, mobile gaming, xbox, microsoft

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users