Xbox Handheld Rumors Nearly Confirmed by Phil Spencer

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An Xbox handheld very much seems to be in the works.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has provided a response to ongoing rumors that suggest Microsoft is developing its own Xbox handheld. Over the past few years, handheld gaming has seen a major revival, primarily thanks to the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck. In light of this, various rumors and reports have come about claiming that Microsoft is now looking to get into this space and release its first Xbox handheld ever. Now, Spencer himself has provided some credibility to these rumors, although nothing has been confirmed just yet. 

Speaking to IGN, Spencer teased that Xbox is in the process of developing new hardware that it hasn’t yet unveiled. As for this week during its Xbox Games Showcase, Spencer said that those at Xbox wanted to focus primarily on new games that are heading to the publisher’s various platforms. That being said, there will be a time when new hardware is shown off and Spencer said he’s very excited to share that news with fans. 

“The future for us in hardware is pretty awesome,” Spencer said. “The work that the team is doing around different form factors, different ways to play, I’m incredibly excited about. Today was about the games… but we will have a time to come out and talk more about platform, and we can’t wait to bring it to you.”  

In a follow-up, Spencer was then asked about whether or not a potential Xbox handheld would play games locally like a Steam Deck, or if it would instead rely upon streaming in a similar manner to Sony’s PlayStation Portal. Spencer said that, for him personally, he thinks “being able to play games locally is really important.” Again, while this is no guarantee of what Xbox could be doing with its own potential handheld, the implication here is that Microsoft is developing a device that will be much more akin to the Steam Deck. 

In the near term, Microsoft announced this week that it’s gearing up to release three new Xbox consoles at the end of this year. This slate includes an all-digital Xbox Series X to go along with a 1TB Xbox Series S and a 2TB Xbox Series X. This lineup will retail between $349.99 and $599.99 depending on the console. Once this slate of hardware hits store shelves, perhaps then Microsoft will look to announce more of its plans for future platforms which now seems very likely to include an Xbox handheld. 

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