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Phil Spencer Thinks Xbox Should Have A Handheld

In a recent Xbox Game Showcase interview, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that he thinks the brand should release a handheld console.


Rumors have swirled about a handheld Xbox console for years, but none of them have ever quite panned out. At this year's Xbox Game Showcase, Xbox chief Phil Spencer made his feelings on the matter clear. Asked about the concept in a recent interview, Spencer simply said: "I think we should have a handheld."

While that statement--given in a discussion with IGN--appears to speak for itself, Spencer quickly stated that the interviewer will also have to speak to Sarah Bond, the president of Xbox, on the issue. He also expressed positive feelings about the future of Xbox hardware, calling it "pretty awesome," and that he's excited to talk about "different form factors" in that hardware.

Spencer's response falls short of an official announcement of an Xbox handheld, but it would certainly seem to indicate that the company is headed in that direction. However, what form it might take remains to be seen. In that same interview, Spencer addressed the closure of several Microsoft-owned game studios earlier this year, including Tango Gameworks, calling it "a decision that is very hard on those teams" and stating that he "has to run a sustainable business inside the company."

The success of the Steam Deck and similar devices has triggered a renaissance in portable gaming over the past few years, which may have prompted Xbox to seriously consider releasing a portable console. Sony's PlayStation Portal has also enjoyed strong sales, and it's possible that Xbox might differentiate its console by offering local play (rather than remote-only). That said, Xbox did announce new hardware at the showcase in the form of an all-digital Xbox Series X, which is all-white and has no disk drive. A report from earlier this year suggested that Microsoft was working on an Xbox handheld prototype, and it's apparently similar to the Steam Deck.

For more on the Xbox Games Showcase, check out our recap. The biggest announcements include the release date reveal of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, the reveal of Doom: The Dark Ages, and a new trailer for the renamed Dragon Age: The Veilguard.

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