We're only a month out from the Xbox Series X launch – almost a full year after the console was first revealed.
The second console in Microsoft's hardware line-up, the all-digital Xbox Series S, was rumored for months, but it wasn't officially announced until September this year, and now an image is doing the rounds on social media of the Xbox Series V – heralded as Microsoft's "first portable Xbox ever."
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👀XBOX SERIES V#XboxSeriesV_Fake or Legit? pic.twitter.com/PpxezwNFnvOctober 13, 2020
The image was posted on Twitter and is being presented as marketing material for the alleged handheld, but it's almost certainly fake. And by 'almost', we mean definitely.
Microsoft has made a push for cloud gaming via its Game Pass Ultimate service, supported on devices like smartphones and tablets. The company has even teamed up with Samsung to highlight the Galaxy Note 20 as the place to play in mobile, throwing in a three-month Xbox Game Pass subscription and MOGA X5-X+ Game Controller for free with pre-orders of the phone when it launched.
Releasing its own handheld to directly compete with mobile devices that are more compact and convenient to use would be an odd 180.
Factor in the design of the render, which is simply a rectangular block featuring a d-pad and buttons, with no apparent consideration for ergonomics, and a large screen precariously attached via a flimsy hinge, and it's pretty safe to say this isn't a real product.
Microsoft has been keen to highlight the importance of smartphones in the world of gaming, so it's unlikely it'll enter the realm of handheld with a dedicated piece of hardware. It revealed its Designed for Xbox mobile gaming accessories a few months back, which can be paired with smartphones to resemble the device in the fan render, but with a much better design.
So if the image got your hopes up, you can always consider snapping up one of the accessories from the range to pair with your phone, or commit to buying yourself a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite to enjoy a portable gaming experience with ports of popular PS4 and Xbox One titles, as well as original Nintendo IPs you won't find anywhere else, like the fantastic The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And with the upcoming Black Friday sales, you're sure to find a great deal on it.