The Nintendo portable consoles is ahead in console world. Nintendo has always gone its own way. His strategy in the field of consoles is very different from that of Sony and Microsoft, and he has not been disheveled before the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series S / X. You haven’t done it rightly, because these consoles don’t threaten your business.
In fact, the Nintendo Switch seems to have come out totally unscathed by the ‘next-gen’. It continues to break sales records, and it does so with the peace of mind of having no rival in its segment. Neither Microsoft nor Sony seem to want to raise a portable console, and the question is clear: why?
From the rumored Xboy…
Microsoft has never actually released a handheld console, but rumors about a potential rival to Nintendo and Sony consoles have been going on for years. For a time, that rival for the PSP and the Nintendo DS seemed possible, but when Microsoft introduced that competitor, it did so waiting for the party to those who expected that alternative: it was not a portable Xbox, but the Zune HD.
Those rumors returned to the fore, when a theoretical Xbox Series V appeared on social networks that would be the portable version of the new Xbox Series S and Series X. A kind of Nintendo DS created by Microsoft and prepared to compete (a little) with the Switch.
That concept design – which was fake – was recently followed by another designer named imkashama, who on TikTok showed another futuristic – and rather unlikely – concept of what a Microsoft handheld console might look like today.
The truth is that Redmond does not seem to be interested in such a market. Robbie Bach, former director of the firm, recently confessed in a conference how in his time in the company there were initiatives in this regard:
“During my time at Xbox, there were at least three groups that did portable Xbox presentations. For whatever reason, they were always called Xboy. It would have been a branding issue, I’m sure. All three times we decided not to.”
Bach’s reason for canceling these projects was simple. ” We didn’t have enough resources.” That would have forced them to create another team and another console from scratch, an effort that the Xbox division did not want to face.
… to the condemnation of the PSP and the failure of the PS Vita
Sony’s story is very different , as we know. The fantastic PSP was hit by piracy but still sold 82 million units. Its successor, the PS Vita, was a comparative failure that developers were quick to abandon: it only sold 16.21 million units.
That blow was so hard that Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, declared at the end of 2019 that portable consoles ” is clearly a market that we are no longer in.”
Sony admits defeat in that arena, but as with Microsoft, neither of them appears to be worried about not having a rival for Nintendo in the case of laptops: both companies are doing great with their respective strategies, at least moment.
With the ‘next-gen’ and video game streaming they have enough rival for the Switch
It therefore does not seem likely that we will see a portable console from Microsoft or Sony in the near future: both companies have just launched their next-generation consoles, but they also have other arguments not to worry too much about the Switch.
In Sony’s case, confidence in the PS5 is evident. Three of the five best-selling consoles in history are from Sony (the other two are Nintendo’s DS and Game Boy portable), and the firm wants to maintain the same philosophy that has already earned it sweeping successes with its predecessors: a good catalog of exclusives seems to be enough for the Japanese company.
At Microsoft, they have Game Pass and xCloud as the main protagonists of their future strategy. As we already mentioned, Microsoft does not even seem to mind selling fewer consoles than Sony (or Nintendo), because what it wants to achieve is that it is played in its ecosystem in one way or another. If you don’t do it on your console, do it on your PC or on a mobile phone through the video game streaming offered by xCloud.
In fact, the streaming of video games that Microsoft poses as one of its strengths for the future is a threat for Nintendo and Sony: being able to play the same games that you play on the console on an Android mobile is really striking, and although for now the Switch does not seem to be affected, it could in the future.
Nintendo in fact seems to be preparing a more modern and ambitious version of the Switch for this Christmas with the idea of alleviating one of the clearest disadvantages of this console: its lack of support for 4K in its connection to the television.
It seems that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have no intention of fighting each other with the same approach. Each wants to beat gamers in a different way, and that’s good news for those gamers, who have different strategies to choose from.
Laptops are from Nintendo, exclusives from Sony, and cloud gaming and backward compatibility from Microsoft. It is the ‘live and let live’. And everyone, apparently, so happy.