Codenamed xYz, Microsoft plans to compete in the handheld video game market.
Microsoft: "Although the Microsoft handheld is definitely a converged device, this is not a Zune Phone." The source added: "Microsoft won't compete with its Windows Mobile customers."
Here are the so called facts from supposedly anon @ Microsoft:
- The device will be a “digital entertainment handheld” and is referred to by “xYz” — the Y denoting that it falls somewhere in between the Xbox and the Zune product lines.
- It will play games as well as movies and music. The anonymous sources say it’s unlike anything on the market today, but to think of it as a cross between the Sony Mylo, the PSP, and the iPod Touch. The iPod Touch reference is important because it underscores that the device will NOT have a cellular connection. The author of the piece, however, thinks it may have WiMAX.
- The device will apparently have “a large WVGA touchscreen” and “hardware features not found on any handheld on the market” — again, this could be WiMAX, plus there’s further speculation that it could contain NVIDIA’s new Tegra chipset and perhaps even play first-generation Xbox games.
- Sources say that this will be “a Live Anywhere device” with “a single online marketplace” that will blur the lines between the Zine, Xbox Live, and Sky marketplaces. For instance, if you buy a song or movie on your Xbox 360, you’ll be able to play it on this device — presumably it’d sync wirelessly. It’d also likely play Xbox Live Arcade games.
- The interface will be very similar to the New Xbox Experience interface.
The device will compete with offering from Apple, Sony, Nintendo, and Google. So expect stuff like Live Maps, news, and traffic. Perhaps it’ll have a GPS chip (my own speculation).
Will we see the official launch information at E3? We'll have to wait and see.