Microsoft does not have a handheld device, which, you know, probably is a good thing! Why? It can put games on the Nintendo DS and get its brands out to people who may not or may never own an Xbox 360. Take Viva Piñata, which is getting DS title Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise. Microsoft-owned developer Rare has been working on the title as well as other DS games like Diddy Kong Racing DS. Says Rare's Joe Humfrey:
They put the Viva Piñata franchise on TV to reach a broad audience, they put it on PC to reach a different broad audience, and they're doing the same thing with the DS. They're trying to widen the audience of the franchise, basically... They see DS as a very viable platform.
Honestly, if Microsoft wants better odds at cracking the Japanese market, it really should release its exclusives on the DS. We hear the DS is popular in Japan. Xbox 360, not so much so.