Microsoft rumoured to release ‘Switch-like’ handheld in 2026
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.
Phil Spencer promises 'we are listening'
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.