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Xbox CEO teases plans for a new handheld gaming device rivaling the Steam Deck and ROG Ally

New handheld competitor to enter the ring?
Last Updated on June 11, 2024
Xbox Handheld Device mock-up on green background
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Phil Spencer, the chief over at Xbox, has all but confirmed that a handheld device is in the works. This comes after months of teasing, including liking social media posts about the possibility and expressing his love for handheld gaming. This would certainly be a major development for the team over at Xbox as they will need to go up against the Steam Deck and ASUS ROG Ally in order to compete. Let’s see what has been said so far and what we can expect.

“I think we should have a handheld, too.”

Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming

The story so far

In a recent interview with IGN, Spencer went a step further, stating “I think we should have a handheld, too.” This is the strongest hint yet that Microsoft is actively developing an Xbox handheld, fulfilling rumors that have been swirling for a while. Spencer also hinted at the functionalities of this device.

When pressed about whether it would focus on streaming games or local playback, he emphasized the importance of local gaming, distancing it from the likes of PlayStation Portal which relies solely on streaming. He mentioned his fondness for existing handheld gaming PCs like ASUS ROG Ally and Steam Deck, suggesting Microsoft is aiming for a true handheld experience – and potentially aiming to rival these very devices.

A natural progression

Earlier this year in an interview with Polygon, Spencer expressed his desire for a compact Xbox mode on handheld PCs. He envisioned booting into a full-screen Xbox app that replicates the familiar Xbox dashboard experience. This could indicate that Microsoft is developing a Windows-based handheld that seamlessly integrates Xbox games and the entire Xbox ecosystem.While this would require a deeper merging of Xbox and Windows than ever before, it aligns with the PC-like direction Xbox seems to be headed. With this in mind, a unified Xbox handheld experience built on Windows seems like a natural progression.

While Spencer remained tight-lipped on specifics, release dates, and actual confirmation, his comments strongly suggest an Xbox handheld is on the horizon. This is exciting news for Xbox fans who crave the flexibility of handheld gaming without compromising on the Xbox experience.

Tom is a tech writer with a detailed view on ensuring the best buying advice, most useful information, and latest news makes its way into PC Guide's articles.

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