Not exactly news—we’ve all heard the rumors—but research and consulting firm Diffusion Group is forecasting that Microsoft will release a portable games console in late 2007 or early 2008. The report issued by the firm states that Microsoft has now achieved the brand recognition necessary to facilitate a handheld, which would no doubt use Xbox branding of some sort. It would also likely include multimedia functionality akin to the PSP. With handhelds making more and more money, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that Microsoft would want a piece of the action.
Personally, I’m excited by the idea. If the 360 is any indication, the multimedia functionality of the Xbox Handheld would be much more user friendly than the PSP. Let’s hope they learn from Sony’s mistakes and give it more comfortable controls and longer battery life. If Microsoft could strike the right balance of DS, iPod, and PDA, they might just get my money.
Then again, it’s not like it will be replacing my DS any time soon.