Microsoft rumoured to release ‘Switch-like’ handheld in 2026

Microsoft rumoured to release ‘Switch-like’ handheld in 2026
Images via Nintendo | Microsoft

Written by 

Tom Chapman


6th Feb 2024 10:36

It's all going down at Xbox HQ, with the Activision Blizzard King acquisition, mass layoffs of 1,900 staff, fears Xbox is leaving the physical game market, and reports that everything from Starfield to Halo could soon lose their Xbox exclusivity.

If you're getting whiplash from all the whispers and supposed insider scoops, get ready for another one. We've all heard about a potential digital-only Xbox Series X for 2025, but now, it sounds like Microsoft could be taking a leaf out of Nintendo's book

Switch-like Xbox handheld rumoured for 2026

While Sony has had limited success with its PlayStation Portal, and the Steam Deck remains the only real rival to the portable powerhouse of the Nintendo Switch, wild whispers claim that Microsoft also wants to get into the market - possibly releasing a Switch-like handheld in 2026. 

As reported by AltChar, Xbox Community member Magg has the inside track on what to expect. Magg claims that the Xbox Series successor will see Xbox move into a company on the go, saying, "It's not going to be a single console, it's going to be a multi-SKU console.

"So it's going to be a box under the TV à la Series X...the cheaper SKU is going to be a dockable console à la Switch, hence why it makes sense the [Microsoft] Surface team is working on it." Host ColtEastwood added that this is the "rumoured hybrid console" that is made to play games on the Cloud but (finally) natively playable on a handheld. 

This comes just days after Jez Corden downplayed the idea that Microsoft is leaving the console space, telling us: "For the crowd of fanboys who were like, ‘yeah, this means that Xbox is dying and Xbox hardware is going away, I do know that Xbox has green-lit multiple new hardware projects in the last couple of weeks."

Phil Spencer promises 'we are listening' 

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Despite concerns that Xbox is in freefall right now, there's seemingly some method to the madness. CEO Phil Spencer rattled a few cages with an arguably flippant response to the layoffs, but promised Microsoft's gaming arm is still trying to grow.

Damage control is in full effect, with the Green Team's head honcho saying all will become clear in an upcoming business update. While we don't expect this to include a reveal of a potential handheld hybrid coming in 2026, it's clear that Spencer has some work to do to win around critics. 

With The Elder Scrolls 6 tipped for a 2026 release window, the stars could align for a true evolution of Bethesda's fantasy series AND the Xbox lineage. Whether Xbox is able to release the next Nintendo Switch or this is a Wii U disaster waiting in the wings, consiquer our interest piqued. Your move, Spencer. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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