Xbox boss drops huge hint at handheld console to put Steam Deck on alert

Xbox boss drops huge hint at handheld console to put Steam Deck on alert
Images via Microsoft | Valve

Written by 

Jack Marsh

Published 

10th Jun 2024 12:05

Mircosoft has just enjoyed one of the best nights in its recent history, putting on a game showcase that stunned the industry, just days after the mediocre Summer Games Fest.

But it wasn't necessarily the showreel of bangers that it put on which stole the night, with Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, Doom, State of Decay, Starfield, and so much more being revealed.

In fact, it was Phil Spencer's closing mic-drop in an interview with IGN afterwards, in which he all but confirmed that Xbox is entering the handheld console market.

Phil Spencer drops a massive Xbox Handheld hint

Click to enlarge

One criticism of Xbox has always been that it is reactive. It reacted to the PS4 with the Xbox One a year later, then responded to the PS5 with the Series X|S a year later. You see the pattern. But, now it finally appears to be primed to react to the success of the Steam Deck, by launching a handheld console of its own.

Speaking in an interview after Xbox's Games Showcase, Phil Spencer revealed "I think we should have a handheld, too." The comment was a bit of a throwaway line, but it was quickly backed up by some more concrete notions that an Xbox handheld is in the works.

"The future for us in hardware is pretty awesome. The work that the team is doing around different form factors and different ways to play, I’m incredibly excited about," he continued. "Today was about the games... but we will have time to come out and talk more about platforms."

'Hypothetical' Xbox handheld console would be more Steam Deck than PS Portal

As to what an Xbox handheld would be like, Spencer was probed on whether Microsoft would be sticking to its ethos of "go where the players are" or whether it would be more on-the-couch style where WiFi is still required.

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"I like my ROG Ally, my Lenovo Legion Go, my Steam Deck. I think being able to play games locally is really important," he said, inferring that the potential console would be much more hardwired where WiFi isn't needed.

Many thought that the next generation of consoles would have been revealed at the showcase, but instead, Microsoft opted to show off a new and improved Series X|S variant and will be holding back the handheld console and the next-gen console for another time.

Jack Marsh
About the author
Jack Marsh
Jack is an Esports Journalist at GGRecon. Graduating from the University of Chester, with a BA Honours degree in Journalism, Jack is an avid esports enthusiast and specialises in Rocket League, Call of Duty, VALORANT, and trending gaming news.
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