Any incentive?

So this brings us back full circle to the thought of why there's no dedicated handheld; what's stopping them?

Well firstly, there's more incentive for Microsoft to not take the risky route that the PS Vita has, even though it seems they have many of the elements required to.

Despite its high-spec hardware the Vita just can't compete with the convenience and price of smartphone gaming. Mobile apps have set the expectation of high quality games for an exceptionally low price.

Sony
Can Microsoft avoid making the same mistakes as Sony?

Games that only a few years ago would have been considered worthy of a full retail release can now be had for a couple of pounds or less. These games appeal to so many who only have limited times to play games on the move but there's enough of a selection to satisfy even the most hard-core gamers, as long as they can tolerate the touch-screen interaction.

Sony tries to win over these gamers with titles that have only marginally less production values than their console equivalents but it seems that the mass market are no longer interested in shelling out £30 or more for a single game when it may turn out they do not even like the game.

What Microsoft needs to do

A mobile gaming device could run on the Windows Phone platform and therefore be reasonably affordable.

It would also have excellent integration with Xbox Live as well as being a companion to whatever the next gen Xbox turns out to be - likely unveiled at this year's E3.

Xbox
Can the Xbox experience work on a handheld?

Microsoft would need to get on-board its catalogue of Xbox developers with quality franchises and convince them that the mobile app model really is the way forward.

Taking SmartGlass to the next logical step of becoming a service that could stream games from the new console to a handheld platform would also surely prove a winning feature and something that is extremely appealing about Nvidia's Project Shield - though that system requires Steam to do the same tricks.

It needs to provide a comparable experience to that which people really love on the Xbox 360 and make it available to them on the move.

Could there also be an alternative? With the right combination of exclusive top titles and an accessible online experience, all that would be required to keep the controller-loving elite happy is for Microsoft to coax its hardware division in to come up with a convincing and compact accessory to turn Windows phones or tablets in to a portable console.

To get an idea what we're thinking of, take a look at products like the IcontrolPad 2 or PhoneJoy Play. Both are Kickstarter campaigns that aim to at provide the necessity for physical input. Both projects have been backed well above their prospective goals.