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Xbox Handheld Is An Intriguing Idea To Phil Spencer

The Microsoft Gaming CEO is currently focused on improving the mobile experience for Xbox players on devices like the Lenovo Legion Go.


While Phil Spencer hasn't outright confirmed an Xbox handheld is in the works, he sure seems intrigued by the idea. The Microsoft Gaming CEO chatted with Polygon about how he's playing Xbox games on the go currently and shared his thoughts on how to improve the mobile experience.

For starters, Spencer wants current PC handhelds, specifically naming the Lenovo Legion Go, "to feel like an Xbox." The Xbox head honcho said he brought the device with him to GDC, and he's annoyed his save file doesn't appear on Legion Go with Fallout 76 because there isn't cross-save.

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"I want to be able to boot into the Xbox app in a full screen, but in a compact mode," Spencer said. "And all of my social [experience] is there. Like I want it to feel like the dash of my Xbox when I turn on the television. [Except I want it] on those devices," like the Legion Go or ASUS Rog Ally.

Spencer admitted the Xbox team is exploring "different hardware form factors and things that [they] could go do." This also comes on the heels of a new report that Microsoft is working on Xbox handheld prototypes. This device would apparently be fully native instead of just being cloud-based for gaming experiences. In addition, Spencer has said years and years ago that his team designed Xbox handhelds behind closed doors.

If Microsoft does actually bring an Xbox handheld to market, Spencer seems to imply his team will continue supporting other PC handhelds as well. "Like, if I want to go play my console games on the go with a handheld, I don't want to only be able to buy one brand of handheld. Right? ... I want everything that we're doing in the hardware space to be great. But if somebody chooses to go play today [somewhere else], I don't want them to feel like a lesser Xbox [player]," he explained.

The naming of the current generation of Xbox hardware implied various models, though so far we've only seen Series X|S. A handheld could possibly fit under Series H or just be part of a future generation. Microsoft did confirm earlier this year that next-gen Xbox hardware is under development.

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