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No mobile console for Microsoft

'It's not our core competency'

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Microsoft's global head of game content Peter Moore has ruled out the possibility of the company launching a mobile games console to compete with PSP or GBA.

Speaking the Game Developers Conference, Moore confirmed that although the company will continue to support game developers working on its mobile operating systems - which are used in certain smartphones and PDAs - with the launch of a version of the XNA platform for these devices, Microsoft has no intention of entering the market with hardware of its own.

"It's not our core competency," Moore told our correspondent in San Jose. "For us [the mobile market] is all about providing software solutions."

Both Sony and Nintendo will launch new mobile consoles this year, while Nokia is expected to announce an updated version of the N-Gage platform next month and other phone manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson are planning phones with advanced gaming features.

"This is a tough business if you're a handset manufacturer - ask the Motorolas, the Nokias and the Ericssons of this world," Moore explained, "and our competence is in making the usage of these [devices] much easier for the user. And so, we're not in the business of building mobile hardware."

"Really, the only piece of hardware that the company has ever really got behind, of course, would be the Xbox. There are some instances where we've looked at things, but no, it's about software for us," he concluded.

While Microsoft does not plan to launch a gaming device to compete with Sony's PSP or Nintendo's DS and GBA handhelds, the company is supporting the launch of a new portable media jukebox from Creative, which will allow users to watch videos or listen to music on the move, and as such mirrors some of the non-gaming functions of the PSP.

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