If there wasn’t enough chicanery going on, such as a pirate trying to steal Breach’s programming code at PAX East 2010, the hacker who managed to invade Microsoft’s Director of Programming Larry Hryb’s account also leaked out some startling documents: plans for the long rumored handheld Microsoft game platform, called the Xbox Nano.
Among the documents were the official Xbox Nano logo, and an image of the actual handheld. The device, roughly the size of a PlayStation Portable, appears to be an Xbox 1 emulator, with a screenshot of Halo: Combat Evolved superimposed onto the screen. The front face appears to have dual analog sticks – a highly sought-after feature for hardcore handheld fans – with a D-pad under the left stick, and a single “A” button under the right stick. It seems that the normal A-B-X-Y buttons will be mapped to the D-pad, with a special function for the “A” button. Also seen are shoulder-buttons on the left and right side. The area above the buttons is clean, presumably for Microsoft decals or simply to provide a finger rest. The documents state the handheld will also feature a touch screen and rumble.
A document lists several other features – it is interesting to note that the console lacks features to download music, movies, listen to radio, and other features found on the Zune; Microsoft seems to want to differentiate the Zune from the Xbox Nano. The Xbox Nano does come with Wi-Fi and local wireless, as well as a USB port that will not only allow users to download software from their PC, but to access an internet network. Gamers’ Xbox Live accounts, of course, will carry over to the Nano.
The document says that all original Xbox games will be compatible with the Nano, but gamers will have to repurchase games since they will be retrofitted for the Nano’s controls. The game will have 120GB of storage for games and files. There is no word yet of whether the Nano games will feature Achievement points; if so, players will finally be able to earn Achievements for such games as Halo, Psychonauts, and other original Xbox games.
The document stated a March 2011 release for the Nano. Let’s cross our fingers this document is acurate.