Phil Spencer On Microsoft Making An Xbox Handheld Console


Rumors are popping up about Microsoft creating a handheld Xbox console, and there’s probably some truth in them, as Xbox head Phil Spencer really wants to make one. Spencer spoke at length to Polygon about the value of handheld PCs and innovation in the console market, though he stopped short of saying whether Microsoft is developing one.

Spencer has plenty of ideas about what a handheld Xbox should be, though, and it’s not necessarily a specific piece of hardware.

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“I like the fact that Valve, Lenovo, and Asus went out and innovated in a new form factor,” he said. “And I will say that when I’m playing on those devices, it almost feels more like a console than a PC — nine times out of 10. The things that usually frustrate me are more Windows-based than device-based. Which is an area I feel some ownership of. Like, I want to be able to log in with a controller. I’ve got my list of things we should go do.”

Spencer said one of the factors he considers most important is whether players’ experience can follow them wherever, even off of Xbox, and said the best innovations in the games industry often come from hardware and software innovations combined.

“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,” he said. “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].”

Whether that means Microsoft ends up with an Xbox handheld, an Xbox app for the likes of Steam Deck, or something else entirely, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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