What has long been rumored now turns out to be true: Microsoft was considering dipping its toes in the handheld gaming market with the ‘Xboy’.
Well, not always the ‘Xboy’; as Former Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach told IGN, it was always “X something.” In the same interview, Bach reveals that there were “definitely drawings” during the multiple times Microsoft looked into a handheld. Microsoft thought that this was an important market, but it was never enough of a priority to take away resources from the Xbox. As Bach says, “We just did not have the bandwidth.”
This turned out to be the right move for Microsoft, whose Xbox 360 did well on the marketplace over many years, with a system on par with the PS3 and some fantastic exclusives– like Halo 3, which sold $170 mil. day one. Meanwhile, a Microsoft handheld would have had to compete with Nintendo’s DS series, which has sold over 150 mil. units since its 2005 launch; a burgeoning phone-gaming market; and Sony’s PSP and PS Vita, which, while doing poorly in the West, were successes in the East.
Although the idea of never having an Xbox in your pocket may be a sad loss for some, ultimately, it was probably for the best. That said, no one should argue the genius of the name ‘Xboy’.