We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

An Xbox handheld is all but confirmed as it targets the Steam Deck

Phil Spencer recently stated that "we should have a handheld" following questioning from IGN, but is another Steam Deck competitor needed?

Xbox Steam Deck handheld

The ongoing speculation of an Xbox handheld recently reached fever pitch after Phil Spencer all but confirmed the existence of one. But is pushing a Steam Deck rival the right thing to do, especially when Xbox is already losing the console war by a landslide?

While Microsoft will have the resources to create what should be one of the best handheld gaming PCs for its Xbox brand, many contenders have sat in similar positions and still not come close to beating out Valve’s portable.

YouTube Thumbnail

When interviewed by IGN, Spencer was being questioned on his belief that Xbox should “go where the players are” and immediately responded with “so we should have a handheld?” foreseeing where the line of questioning was heading.

After this unexpected remark, interviewer Ryan McCaffrey responded with “I think so”. Spencer was quick again to agree saying “I think so too”. Stopping short of officially confirming a handheld there and then, Spencer states that this is perhaps a question for Sarah Bond, the president of Xbox, before claiming “the future for us [Xbox] in hardware is pretty awesome”.

While this appears to be the strongest indication yet that an Xbox handheld is coming, questions will be asked about whether entering a new hardware market is smart, given that Xbox is handily losing its current battle with the PS5, with the Xbox Series X/S being outsold almost 5:1 in the first quarter of 2024 based on figures provided by Daniel Ahmad on X (formerly Twitter).

Sony itself tried to enter the handheld market but with a device that works only as a remote play extension of the PS5, ultimately leading to mixed reviews. Xbox may learn from this, but until we know exactly what its intentions are and how the handheld is designed, it’s still a complete guessing game.

If you want to know what we think of some of the existing handheld options on the market, you can check out our Steam Deck OLED review and Asus ROG Ally review for a comprehensive breakdown of the technology and how they perform.