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Phil Spencer talks about rumored Xbox handheld console: 'I think we should have a handheld, too'

The Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Gaming talks about the future of Xbox consoles and defines what the rumored handheld console could look like.

Phil Spencer talks about rumored Xbox handheld console: 'I think we should have a handheld, too'

Xbox had a big presentation yesterday as part of the 2024 Xbox Game Showcase, showing off new titles, returning franchises with Gears of War, and announcing release dates for highly anticipated titles. While the number of games was impressive, we were also expecting to see all-new hardware from the company. And we saw a glimpse of new versions of their current consoles (with a new all-digital Xbox Series X). However, there was one thing that fans had been waiting for: the company’s much-rumored handheld console.

In an interview with IGN, Phil Spencer talked about the company’s current hardware position and whether we’ll see anything related to this device in the future.

“The future for us in hardware is pretty awesome. The work that the team is doing around different form factors, different ways to play, I’m incredibly excited about,” Spencer said. “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.”

When asked if this potential handheld console would run games locally like the Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck, or if it would use a cloud-based system, Spencer replied, “I think being able to play games locally is really important.” This answer is striking considering that part of Xbox’s strategy to be everywhere is its Xcloud cloud streaming technology.

Phil Spencer knows what he wants from a handheld console.

Earlier this year, Spencer spoke about the big boom in handheld consoles that has come on the heels of the success of Steam Deck, with the Nintendo Switch as the main inspiration, and he made things very clear at the time, mentioning that “I’ve got my list of things we should do.”

On that list was “Forget the brand. More like: Are all my games there? Are all my games showing up with the save [files] I want? I want to be able to boot into the Xbox app full screen, but in a compact mode. And all my social [experiences] are there. Like I want it to feel like the dashboard of my Xbox when I turn on the TV. Except I want it on these devices.”