|designing a product that combines games, music and video in one handheld device, according to sources familiar with the project.|
The Microsoft product would compete with Sony, Nintendo and Apple Computer products, including the iPod. And Microsoft has some of its most seasoned talent from the division that created its popular Xbox 360 working on it.
Game executive J Allard leads the project, and its director is Greg Gibson, who was the system designer on the Xbox 360 video game console, sources said. Bryan Lee, the finance chief on the Xbox business, is leading the business side of the project.
By anchoring its entertainment device as a handheld game player, Microsoft is starting from its position of strength in the entertainment business that it hopes Apple cannot match, even with its iPod. Game industry publications, circulating rumors of this development, have dubbed it an ``iPod killer,'' but its functions would probably more closely resemble Sony's PlayStation Portable multimedia gaming device, sources say.