Microsoft has been rumored to come out with a portable gaming system all their own to compete with the Nintendo DS, Sony PSP and Apple iPhone, especially after the latter managed to open up a huge market in just the past couple of years.

The news of the Xbox manufacturer getting into the portable scene is somewhat of a surprise, and the folks from Redmond are keeping details scarce (the only confirmation coming in just a brief mention in a Zune HD promotional video, embedded below).

Unfortunately, this begs a lot of questions:

–    Does the industry really need another portable
–    What challenges does this pose to your marketing plans as the number of platforms continues to increase
–    Sony has yet to succeed, so why would Microsoft have a better chance at it
–    And, last but not least, how many people do you know who own a Zune

While the Zune hardware is undoubtedly sexy, we are afraid of increased market segmentation, especially when Nintendo is already running away with the younger gamer demographic and iPhone is looking to take the older market, with Sony showing very few signs of life with the PSP.