Microsoft’s Phil Spencer Envisions a Handheld Xbox

In a recent interview at the Game Developers Conference, Phil Spencer, the gaming chief at Microsoft, expressed his fascination with the concept of handheld gaming devices (via Polygon).

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Image: Chris Plante/Polygon

Spencer, who has tested various PC gaming handhelds such as the Asus ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go, and Steam Deck, is intrigued by their potential but remains focused on making them more Xbox-compatible.

“I want my Lenovo Legion Go to feel like an Xbox,” Spencer explained. He outlined his vision for handheld devices to seamlessly integrate Xbox features, including access to all games with cross-save functionality.

Spencer revealed that Microsoft’s Xbox hardware team, led by Roanne Sones, is exploring different hardware form factors to cater to new players and expand gaming accessibility.

He highlighted two approaches: hardware optimization and software enhancement, acknowledging the need to accommodate players who may prefer brands other than Xbox. Despite not confirming the development of an official Xbox handheld, Spencer stressed the importance of innovation in hardware, drawing parallels to past industry milestones like the Wii.

He emphasized the significance of bridging hardware innovation with compelling software experiences, mirroring Xbox’s success in software development and platform expansion over the years.

Legion Go Released

Spencer’s ultimate goal is to provide a unified gaming experience across various hardware platforms, reducing friction for players and enabling game creators to reach a broader audience.

He envisions a future where Xbox gaming transcends traditional consoles, embracing handheld devices as part of its ecosystem.

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