An Xbox gaming handheld could be more powerful and useful than PlayStation Portal

Xbox boss Phil Spencer talks more on a possible Xbox handheld console

Phil Spencer - Xbox
(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)
Quick Summary

Microsoft's head of gaming, Phil Spencer, has suggested in an interview that his company is looking at multiple form factors for future hardware releases.

This includes a handheld to rival the likes of PlayStation Portal, Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has poured further fuel on rumours that the company is considering releasing its own Xbox handheld console.

It makes sense considering Sony can't make enough PlayStation Portal units fast enough to meet demand, and the likes of Steam Deck and the Lenovo Legion Go are doing so well.

And there's the Nintendo Switch, of course.

Indeed, Spencer's latest comments suggest he's a big fan – especially of the Windows-based handhelds – and that Microsoft is seriously looking at that sector of the market.

His team are looking at "different hardware form factors and things that [they] could go do," he told Polygon in an interview (via VGC).

"I like the fact that Valve, Lenovo and Asus went out and innovated in a new form factor. 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."

Certainly, if Microsoft does make a handheld, he suggests it should more than a remote streaming device, such as the PlayStation Portal. It is therefore unlikely to be just a tool to play Xbox Game Pass titles through Cloud Gaming.

And even if the hardware itself isn't made by Xbox, there is every likelihood that the Xbox gaming experience will improve on existing handhelds, too.

"I want to be able to boot into the Xbox app in a full screen, but in a compact mode. 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," he added.

Xbox is also expected to unveil a new version of the Xbox Series X later this year.

The potential Xbox Series X Pro is reportedly white, has no disc-drive (so is digital only), and should be more powerful to compete with an also expected PlayStation 5 Pro.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.