Former Xbox head regrets not properly investigating an Xphone gaming phone back in 2004

Former Xbox head regrets not properly investigating an Xphone gaming phone back in 2004
In a recent interview, former Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach sheds a lot of valuable insight on the history of Microsoft's Xbox project. Starting from the botched E3 launch of the original Xbox, on to the struggles of mending mistakes with the Xbox 360, Bach shares his personal experiences with leading the Xbox division.

Although the entire interview is a good read for Xbox fans, what really caught our attention was the fact that the former Xbox chief mentions a cancelled project called the Xboy, a prototype handheld game console that Microsoft was experimenting with years before the original iPhone launched. According to Bach, the team failed to see that the Xboy could have become the Xphone.

Bach says that the Xboy idea was repeatedly experimented with, but the management team turned down every version of the suggested business model. Apparently, this decision was made in order to maintain focus on "getting things right" with the Xbox, and avoiding a dilution of resources. The Xboy idea allegedly came back in full strength back in 2004, when Sony launched the PSP, but only to be shelved once more. In this recent interview, the former Xbox head regrets the fact that his team could see the bigger picture. By failing to see how the Xboy could have been transformed into the Xphone, a handheld gaming console that was also a phone, Bach says that Microsoft has missed out on a great opportunity.

According to Bach, the Xbox team also experimented with the idea of a dual-screened Xbox tablet, although no further details are provided. 

As Bach himself mentions, it's easy to look back in the past and see how some decisions would have been preferable to the ones that wee actually makes. What do you guys think? If Microsoft would have properly investigated the Xphone, would Microsoft, and not Apple, be now the creator of the modern smartphone?

source: Polygon via Neowin

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17 Comments

1. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Xphone? Hope people doesn't misunderstand for something else..

5. waddup121 unregistered

no thanks LOL

16. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Lmao. Yeah right MS still can't get mobile right after all these years & can't even keep up with Apple & Android.

2. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

In my tech dreams, I still dream for a Xbox handheld. It would be awesome.

6. techloverNYC

Posts: 601; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

I been dreaming of an Xbox Handheld since high school freshman year. Yet t is still a dream. That was like 8 years ago when like the first PSP came out lol.

10. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Handheld consoles will still have a fanbase but on a lower batch. Features and technologies per dollar, smartphones are cheaper than portable game stations.

3. Athene

Posts: 72; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

"If Microsoft would have properly investigated the Xphone, would Microsoft, and not Apple, be now the creator of the modern smartphone?" Not sure.. A lot of the iPhones success and rocket thrusted business when it first launched came from a lot of Wall Street / white collar type people, whom of which would probably not be interested in a console related phone. All I remember hearing back in 2007 was multi touch phone, browser, iPod; everywhere I went. I can't imagine a chunk of the general public, let alone white collar / Wall Street drooling over a video gaming device that makes phone calls. But, one will never know.

11. Penny

Posts: 1847; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Logically, I'd be inclined to agree with you. But I had a funny experience several years ago on a first class flight from LA to New York. I was 18 years old and there were only 12 first class seats. It seemed like everybody in first class was a businessman with their suits and coats and all that, while I was wearing jean shorts and a polo shirt. About an hour into the flight though, 2 of the three other businessman sitting in my row break out their PSPs and just start playing games. It was the most amusing thing in the world to me at that moment, to see these businessmen carrying PSPs for video games while I just had a book for my entertainment.

12. Athene

Posts: 72; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Very interesting! Id love to watch that also haha! It'd be even funnier if they were Game Boys

4. Tziggy14

Posts: 624; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

I remember the Xbox phone hype back then lol. People really thought Microsoft was gonna release a handheld console with Xbox graphics to compete with the PSP. I used to scan the internet for days for confirmed rumors. Looks like my dreams were fulfilled, but by Apple and Google instead with smartphones. lol.

7. pureviewuser

Posts: 501; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

As always Microsoft always late to the party and I'm a Microsoft fan what can I say well done Apple you deserve to be where you are now.

8. pureviewuser

Posts: 501; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

As always Microsoft always late to the party and I'm a Microsoft fan what can I say well done Apple you deserve to be where you are now.

9. dimas

Posts: 3343; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

It will still fail. People chose smartphones because of android and iOS. Game developers would go for more popular OS to get more profit and that's where consoles are getting beaten financially.

13. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Financially?

14. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

This was back in 2004 and they failed to see that it could have become a phone? In 2004, there was already a handheld game console phone. The Nokia nGage.

15. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Would have been interesting. Not as a phone but as a handheld gaming platform. I always assumed MS never thought to go that route, I was wrong.

17. tommartin17

Posts: 32; Member since: Apr 07, 2015

I like your idea!

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