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Microsoft Vita? It could happen

Opinion: Portable gaming's back on track and Microsoft will want a slice, says Tom Pakinkis

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And developers could be the real difference here. Right now Sony and Nintendo are going to be occupying the largest chunk of third-party brains, not simply because they have exciting new products to toy with but because they represent more opportunity, creative as well as financial.

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In comparison, the Microsoft corner looks increasingly narrow both to consumers and developers. Kinect does one thing, the 360 does another; that's a really strong hand in a direct console v console battle but, by the time E3 shut its doors this year, the battle lines had been redrawn.

The platforms are no longer confined to their separate weight classes. The PlayStation Vita can work hand-in-hand with the PS3 and the Move to wow customers. The 3DS, Wii U and the Wii could potentially combine efforts to provide brand new experiences. The 360/Kinect tag-team is starting to look a bit outnumbered.

The tide is turning for handhelds and Nintendo and Sony are already heading in the right direction. If Microsoft wants to occupy the same waters, it's going to need to deploy a third sail to keep itself from slipping out to sea.

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