With Sony and Nintendo already occupying the handheld gaming space, coupled with the plethora of increasingly powerful smartphones and tablets on the market right now, it would be an incredibly risky venture for anyone to attempt to step into the portable console market, but that hasn't stopped from speculating that Microsoft might be about to do just that.
Xbox's Phil Spencer has put paid to any such suggestions via his official Twitter account today though. When asked by a follower if Microsoft plannned to unveil a portable gaming device either at this year's E3 or at any pointin the future, Spencer replied with:
I don't think we'll do a dedicated handheld gaming device.
He didn't completely rule out some sort of hybrid, though, that could potentially bring console quality gameplay experiences to Microsoft's mobile and tablet range, suggesting that that could happen "maybe with controller support someday."
The news really shouldn't be of any real surprise to anyone. Although Nintendo continues to shift an impressive number of 3DS consoles on a regular basis, Sony has learned how difficult that side of the market can be, with its PlayStation Vita struggling on the sales front despite its technical superiority.
Microsoft will know that it needs to pick its battles to give it the best chance of success, and this probably isn't the right one for them - at least for the time being.