Microsoft: ‘When’ not ‘if’ Xbox will go mobile in some capacity

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Apparently it’s not a matter of “if” Microsoft will bring the Xbox, in some capacity, to the wonderful world of mobile entertainment, but “when.” So says Corporate Vice-President Shane Kim, at least; if you can’t trust Mr. Kim, then who can you trust?

Here’s the money quote from Mr. Kim, swiped from an interview with Kikizo:

For us, it’s a matter of focusing on “when,” because if we chased after a mobile or handheld opportunity, we would not have the resources and ability to do things like… Project Natal. So we’ve chosen to focus on the living room experience from a hardware standpoint, if you will, but we’re building a service in Live that will… will extend to other platforms. No question about it.

The key to all of this, apparently, is Xbox Live. Microsoft sees the service as “connective tissue,” sustaining life between your Xbox 360 and your TV by way of Twitter and Facebook integration, Netflix streaming, and so on.

Nowhere does Kim explain what, exactly, Microsoft has in mind. Will it go the “traditional” route of releasing its own portable system? I can’t see that doing too well on its own: why is someone, in 2009, going to carry around a cellphone that doubles as a mobile computer and a dedicated video game machine?

Perhaps a Zune phone, one so powerful that it’s able to play video games with ease? (Just look at this video of Resident Evil 4 running on the iPhone and tell me that doesn’t look playable, if not great.) It’d give the Zune brand a much needed shot in the arm, that’s for sure. I can’t imagine too many Xbox Live Arcade games giving a modern cellphone too much trouble.

Of course, that’s merely speculation that I just came up with; it has no bearing on reality. I like to think out loud. It makes the day go by faster.

But, now you know: Microsoft wants to bring Xbox into your mobile world. How it does that, when it does that, who knows.

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