Robbie Bach unsure about the future of handheld gaming for Microsoft

When questioned about the possibility of a dedicated gaming handheld vs a phone with multimedia functionality, Microsoft's Robbie Bach expressed his hesitation to enter either market to attendees of yesterday's.First Annual Microsoft Open House. The Entertainment and Devices division prez said, "The portable market's an interesting market ... you have to decide which direction the market is going." Rather than pursue the phone with gaming/media functionality route that Apple has taken, Bach thinks current technology simply isn't good enough yet.
"You have to decide if the dedicated devices in the portable market are going to continue to grow, or whether the phone that you get is going to get powerful enough and battery power management is going to get good enough that people are going to look at it and say 'No, I just want one device that's going to have some games on it, some music on it, some video on it.' I'm probably more biased to think that's the direction where the market is going."
Though he didn't mention an iPhone competitor or a dedicated gaming device, Bach hinted at the possibility, saying the Xbox and Zune are integrating at "a steady drumbeat." That steady drumbeat likely won't lead to much in the coming months though, as he noted, "There is a CES two years from now where people will look back and say 'Wow! Look at everything they did.'" At that point we'll only be four years from flying cars and hoverboards, so let's hope that Microsoft has some serious future stuff up its sleeves.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.