At the ongoing D.I.C.E. summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, Microsoft Game Studios corporate VP Shane Kim was bombarded with every tough question you could think of by New York Times reporter Seth Scheisel. Covering a wide range of topics from Xbox to Windows, Kim kept his head on for the most part while toting the company line.

"People have speculated that we were stifling their creative freedom," Kim told Scheisel, when asked about Bungie's public split from Microsoft in 2007, "but I can tell you there's no studio that had more freedom at Microsoft Game Studios than Bungie." Kim also didn't rule out the possibility of a Microsoft branded portable gaming device, saying, "never say never."

With a year head start on their competition, one of the strongest software attachment ratios a console has ever seen and critical and commercial successes like Halo 3 and Gears of War under their belt, does Microsoft consider the console war to be won? "By no means does anyone at Microsoft think the race is over," replied Kim. "You have very powerful and formidable contenders in Nintendo and Sony ... to underestimate them and to count them out would be a foolish mistake." Read the full interview for Kim's views on Windows Vista gaming, intellectual properties and more.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.