Should MS create a handheld?

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by liolio, Dec 9, 2018.

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Should Microsoft create a handheld portable console?

  1. Yes.

    7 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. No.

    8 vote(s)
    38.1%
  3. Depends, (Explained in a post)

    6 vote(s)
    28.6%
  1. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    MSFT (imo I know lot do not agree) had a lot of failures in the late years though they clearly shown the can make audacious choices. Kinect 1&2 were audacious, so was their online policies, etc. The One X is also an audacious product (though somehow I find less on point than the afforementioned attempts which were bound to a clear vision).
    There is one thing MSFT never tried, it is the handheld market. They have tried pretty everythings to get in the mobile market and all therir attempt failed so far (my points is not to discuss the reasons why), I think at this stage they can affford another failure looking at the potential impact.

    I believe Sony may have read the market wrong with the PS Vita, they focused too much on hardware and hardcore gaming whereas the PSP was enjoyed (among others things) for its media features that no others devices provided in such cheap and versatile package at the time.
    Nintendo was not owning the market, Sony may no have pushed the PSP iteration in the right direction. Nintendo XL approach proved right, people wanted bigger screen more than more portable product. With the Vita SOny came with a device that did not feat your pocket though did not provide a jump in screen real estate at a time where the Nexus 7 (first gen) where reaching costumers hands. (++the free-ish games era++ though now it is a known quantity).

    MSFT never tried and they have quite some things going fo themselves. They have great underlying OS and a market which needs a spark to get really started. They can offer a pretty complete experience. Though they have to go with rationality and not listen to gaming community at large. It is not about power, resolution, etc but offering the good device at the good price then it can still fail but that is the nature of business (things that never fail are rigged at the legal level or technical or insider trading, geo-politically driven, etc.).

    They should try it. The tech is awesome nowadays and I believe many are waiting for a high tech affordable dedicated gaming mobile device. It needs to offeers free games and the price should not exceed 170/180€ (thinking of good entry level smart phones and 7" tablets). It got to be sturdy and should be able to target kids (as Amazon kindle did with some success). Specificiations are an after though, it needs to get cheaper down the road (130€ within two years, and 99€ later.. if the product picks up obviously). MSFT has pretty awesome trick that would allow them to replace hardware completely when possible (and obviously driving price lower) without end users noticing.
    They need an open mind on specs, all specs from the SOC to the screen (resolution, definition, format ratio), they need to design it more as Nintendo did with the 2DS as they do for their Surface line or actually their XBox: sturdy completely costs driven.

    May the Xboy and Xbabe be one of this day.
     
    #1 liolio, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  2. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    I think MS's only mobile solution is going to be streaming. Maybe they can come up with a decent controller design that can attach to various mobile devices in such a way that it makes them more ergonomic as gaming devices and standardizes the controls for mobile devices in the way allowing the 360 controller to work on PC did for that platform.
     
  3. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    Well I voted my-self for "it depends". If the go with a strategy of their own blending mobiles games (actually trying to get port ports available through the Windows market for all their platforms). If they target Kids that gets old enough that the limitation of tactile screen are getting obvious. If they overall try to reach the masses (as much as possible with a product as a dedicated gaming device). If they do not get into online social media crap to get their products or design choices to get acknowledge and the let a vocal minority decides whereas theirs choices were sounds or not. If they do not go after picking up the ball where Sony let it either with the PSP or the PSV. If they do not go after Nintendo either the Switch or 3DS.

    If all that they should try it, thanks to their main business and previous (failed) efforts MSFT can provide something different, that blends mobile gaming (and accept its rules, free-ish, cross platforms) and more "standard" games. They have the OS, some APps, the market place, etc.

    As for Streaming I'm not sure it is a solution for the masses. It sure can be done for lots of people at home but using the mobile network. I'm not sure either it is the best usage of energy/bandwidth, etc. when content can be produced and display locally. Now if it is economically viable they could try but it is something different altogether.
    I agree that MSFT should be slap in the face for the poor integration of 360 (and later version) of the xbox pad into windows, it is pretty short sighted. So is Windows lack of a proper TV mode after that many years managing the XBobx brand, having media center edition, etc.
    There are things MSFT should consider making standard (or hard promote) for example a microphone in keyboards remote or not would go a long way making Windows more operable when one is not sitting at desk.
    That is a different matter, MSFT is trying many tyhing to get greater adoption of its market place and be more relevant in the mobile realm, handheld is a door they have not tried. Whether they succeed or not people WANT handheld, I would be pretty surprise if they sale less than 20 millions units if the prices is right. If the project is driven by costs and usage, and they do not lose money on hardware I don't think there is much risk for them. Even inclunding the R&D cost.
     
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  4. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    If they're going to support Windows games and streaming on Windows devices anyway, I suggest a small Surface product with maybe gaming cradle peripheral as standard. Use it as a reference for Xbox Gaming big screen type simplified interface development and help improve the PC experience, making it more console like.

    Incidientally I was playing online the other day and the damned virus checker decided to update. Shit like that still ruins the PC gaming experience. A dedicated 'I'm gaming, don't do anything else unless I tell you (allowing user-given permission multitasked apps for comms, sharing, etc.)' mode for the OS is necessary still. A Windows gaming device would be good for developing that focus.

    Although the Windows 10 tablet experience is still pretty crap. My Surface Pro 10 frequently hides the start bar off the screen and I can't get it back with an upwards swipe, for example. Lots about Windows as a tablet OS remains lame and stinky even after years of development. Windows as a console would probably be a half-arsed implementation and not what you'd want from a handheld console.
     
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  5. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    I would love a portable gaming device like the Switch, but with MS games from OX, X360, and XO.
    But I think it depends... How close are they to a "stream to any device"? Would an adjustable controller to hold a tablet (gaming cradle) fit the description of a handheld? Also, how close is consumer 5G Wireless for genuine portable devices? It would be a real boon to not have to be concerned with data-caps and be able to play anywhere that WiFi may not be available.
     
  6. zed

    zed
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    No. I predicted the Vita would fail because it didnt include mobile functionality and their Game IPs were not strong enough to go it alone unlike Nintendo. MS's gaming IP's are a lot weaker, a small 7" tablet would be OK, dont make it gaming focused though.
    Yeah this occasionally happens to me on windows 10, MS has been doing windows what? >20 years and occasionally still the most basic functionality like moving the cursor to the left of the monitor to bring up the windows menu doesnt work! :lol:
     
  7. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    When you say mobile functionality do you mean being able to make calls?
     
  8. Silent_Buddha

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    Also, something that could potentially affect this in the future is something I posted in the Windows on Arm thread.

    https://www.windowscentral.com/qualcom-snapdragon-8cx

    Qualcomm's first SOC designed specifically for Windows 10 and a desktop workload. Depending on how things go, it's potentially possible for MS to have an ARM based handheld. The question then becomes can they make their x86 -> ARM translation (pre-compiled would be best) fast enough? Can they do the same for GPU translation?

    But all of this depends on whether Qualcomm and MS have any success with something like this in the marketplace to spur further R&D into ARM based Windows SOCs.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  9. zed

    zed
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    Voice aint important, texting was. Nowadays of course you would need data as texting has fallen out of favour
     
  10. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    They had Skype and Facebook for some time
     
  11. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    Would be nice for then to dive into mobile

    Even better if their mobile solution is also multipurpose that counted as one platform as the home console.

    So one game can work in Xbox home Xbox mobile Xbox pc.

    When docked, Xbox mobile can be used for office etc (basically UWP apps without locks ). Complete with the usual windows interoperability with external storage etc.
     
  12. Magnum_Force

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    At this point it's probably in Microsoft's best interest to try and turn the Xbox one into a mobile console, or rather have a mobile verson. It they remove the ODD and swap the HDD for some low power emmc, and maybe swap the DDR3 with an LPDDR4 equivalent (if possible), I reckon they could get down to 35w gaming considering the current One S hovers around 75w for games.
     
  13. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    What's a mobile console? A portable/handheld? 35W is far too much. Switch is <18W.
     
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  14. Magnum_Force

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    I disagree; laptops consume ~35w of power when running off there batteries. Granted they are bigger, however they sacrifice cooling ability for height - a portable wouldn't need to do this if designed correctly.

    This cools my 65w Ryzen 2200g without a problem and could easily fit on a switch size console if the thickness was increased around the heatsink. Just imagine the switch with a hump back .
     
  15. MrFox

    MrFox Deludedly Fantastic
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    It's even worse than that. The switch have a 16Wh battery giving 2.5h worst case, means it's a peak 6 or 7 watts including the screen and everything. The SoC plus memory can't be more than 5 watts in portable mode.

    I suppose a 15 watts device would be possible. Maybe it could allow a half-specs xb1 or ps4 as a down target for ports. And down-sampled textures and assets to save space on carts.

    Anything above 15w total and the main battery becomes too large and expensive for a mainstream portable console.
     
  16. Magnum_Force

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    A £130 Chromebook has a 38wh battery, so I don't think price is an issue, size and weight would be bigger obstacles.
     
  17. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    Msft should design its mobile without concern for the wishes of core gamers otherwise it is obvious it won't reach mass adoption and/or will eat into their own market as they are likely to want something akin to a much more powerfull Switch, or a laptop-ish device.

    I believe they need to go for the masses, right now kids have choice between low end kindle 6" or 7", the Ds line which does not provide a catalog of free games (and is quite old school even next to a kindle), and the much expensive Switch more akin to an home console when it comes to the total cost of ownership (expensive games, no free games; etc).
    Really the market has not be presented with a sane handheld build on the requirements for kids and olders that do get that those products are meant to have limitations.

    For example, it does not have to be powerful, it does not have to have zillion buttons, it does ot need to have 16:9 screen ratio (Ipad don't for example not to mention lots of free games are played in portrait mode the screen could be scare for all I care), it does not have to that definition or resolution.
    Though it needs good tactile and physical control, it needs modern apps a good braowse and good connectivity, it needs decent battery life, it needs freeish mobile games, it needs corss platform play, it needs to be cheap enough so people can buy at Christmas when they are not sure about what to get ad the thing is definitly within budget, it needs to be sturdy for kids. I think it should close to what Nintendo but with the modern back-end (both hardwarde and software) Nintendo can't really deliver. As I see thing for a "vanilla" handheld the 3DS is a better reference point than the Swith so are cheap tablets (from decent brands).

    I mean who would not buy a 130€ handheld here? Whereas it would not be the dream system of anyone of you that I can understand but we are all geeks lots would buy the things if only to collect it. And it play plenty of free games among which decent ones (if it motivates developpers to port to MSFT and if MSFT makes porting as trivial as it gets ). MSFT should be open minded wrt emulators as it is an obvious fit for such devices. What when it is 99€. Right now if you want to play Fornite in your toilets with good control you ough ot own the old first gen Nvidia Shield for example, imo something not right.
    MSFT has shown they can deal with many skus and have games to benefit from different set-up.
    Say they have 130€ as a target, clearly rough arbitration to be make, for that price Big N makes the 2DS XL, thers decent low-end tablets. I think the only harware requirement would be having decent CPU power as it sets a hard botton line than RAM or graphic powern screen resolution, etc.

    EDIT:
    As an aside thinking more competitively they also try to make so it close the door for NIntendo to release a competitve DS anytime soon (if they are ever to but that is not the point) that if Nintendo want to sell the device at a profit hich tey usually do whereas MSFT/Sony launches in the grey recently.
     
    #17 liolio, Dec 10, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  18. ToTTenTranz

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    Yes! They should totally do that! I mean the 2013 XBOne reveal did exactly that and it was such a great success!

    Just ignore your core demographics! How come no one ever has that genius thought more often?!

    /s
     
  19. Tkumpathenurpahl

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    Perhaps the best way to go would be to release a cheap tablet and a tiny, stripped back XBoxOne?

    Hook that miniscule XBoxOne up to some sort of battery dock, and stream locally.
     
  20. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    Well they were clever enough to try to address the masses with a massivve quite intrusive 500€ system underperforming the competition on the prupose of gaming alone. As for their oline policies they should not have care as much about da web... overblown concern not a tempest in a bath tube either there were serious concerns. Going back on that did not do much for them (to listen give credit the vocal minority) they have the wrong product at the wrong price that is it. AS thing were getting better they imo killed the XB1S for the sake of a product that does retrospectively nothing for them (last in ales in their only strong market left the US beaten by Sony who has yet to price the PS4 aggressively and Nintendo and its Swith+DS line).

    Sure they should bleed themselves and release ++300€ handheld (at least) heavily sibsidize, kids can't afford, or that can be afford for ot too mindfull gaming recreation, that for sure will not promote their market/store, etc. Something they know being a super niche market, not profitable, etc. sure they won't.

    Now the argument Nintendo own handhelds is lame the PSP were doing fine, Sony did not push it in the irght direction and the PS Vita was to great a jump.
    Everytime manufactureres ignores affordability the handheld market shrinks, kids can't get it, recreational users pass, etc. It is pretty onbvious and not rocket science I dont get why manufacturers do not get it right. Nintendo came back to his sens with the 2DS versions (and I'm sure lose lots of potentil sales to tablets like kindles meanwhile).
     
    Tkumpathenurpahl likes this.
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