Confusion has arisen over an article by the Seattle Times, which states: "This is more than just another MP3 player. It will also compete with game players from Sony and Nintendo that have long had Wi-Fi and work as media players, internet terminals and communication devices."
Although this sounds like a confirmation that the new machine (codenamed Argo) will enter the handheld gaming market, it is more logical to conclude that its Wi-Fi abilities will simply enable internet browsing, downloading and even content-sharing on the fly, much like the non-gaming capabilities of Sony's PSP.
Fitting into a forthcoming line of Xbox-branded products and developed under the leadership of Xbox co-founder J Allard, it's only natural to assume or hope the machine will play Xbox games. But evidence suggests Microsoft is simply expanding into the lucrative media download market with a very tasty-sounding - but essentially iPod-like - machine.
So when will we get some Halo deathmatch action on the bus? Sadly, we still seem to be a while off such pleasures. Back to Mario Kart then.
June 12, 2006