Hopes of Xbox handheld dashed by Microsoft's Phil Spencer

Xbox One controller
Could Xbox controllers control a Surface one day?

With the Xbox One out, Microsoft's game development teams are hard at work, with long lists of projects they'd like to tackle, Phil Spencer told fans on Twitter this week.

But a handheld Xbox console, "Xbox Surface" or other Microsoft handheld gaming system is not on those lists, the head of Xbox said.

Spencer had a lengthy and candid conversation with Twitter users, who asked about everything from E3 plans to the upcoming slate of Xbox original TV content. But when it came to a handheld, Spencer quickly shot the idea down.

"I don't think we'll do a dedicated handheld gaming device," he admitted.

It can't all be bad news

Spencer added that for now Microsoft's mobile gaming efforts are focused on Windows Phone 8 and tablets like the Surface, even bringing up the long-rumored possibility that Microsoft mobile devices might eventually work with Xbox controllers.

Interestingly this is pretty consistent with what Microsoft has been saying for years; back in 2011 the company said Windows Phone 7 was its focus when it came to portable gaming.

Spencer also touched on some other topics that are no doubt of interest to Xbox fans. For example, he said Microsoft is not against publishing third-party games, but for the moment is focused on "opportunities with IP we own that we've neglected."

No word as to what "neglected" franchises he might be referring to, but in another tweet he said Microsoft will "announce both new IP and new sequels at E3," as well as "some new studios we are working with."

All eyes on E3

Meanwhile, he provided answers to some more specific questions, including queries about the upcoming Xbox One version of Minecraft and external hard drive support for the new console.

He said Microsoft is "getting closer" to the former, and suggested that the latter will arrive in a monthly update to the Xbox One soon.

The bottom line is that Microsoft might have a very interesting E3 planned for June.

Via Engadget

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for Playboy.com, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.