While there's always been a lot of chatter surrounding the possibility of Microsoft entering the handheld gaming space, Microsoft themselves have always been rather evasive on the subject. Which is why these comments from Shane Kim are so surprising.

In an interview with Kikizo, the Microsoft man opens up a little, saying "For us, it's a matter of focusing on 'when', because if we chased after a mobile or handheld opportunity, we would not have the resources and ability to do things like... Project Natal. So we've chosen to focus on the living room experience from a hardware standpoint, if you will, but we're building a service in Live that will... will extend to other platforms. No question about it."

It's an optimistic, if carefully-worded statement, which sounds to us like it could have a lot more to do with bringing Xbox Live to advanced models of Microsoft's Zune portable media device than crafting a dedicated gaming handheld.

Exclusive: Portable Xbox Gaming a Matter of "When" [Kikizo]