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Rumored Xbox handheld console is on CEO Phil Spencer’s wishlist

Phil Spencer has expressed his love for handhelds on numerous occasions, and he's pretty much willing an Xbox handheld into existence at this point.

Xbox handheld console Phil Spencer showcase: Phil Spencer next to the Xbox logo

After months of speculation, as well as a report that reckoned we’ll be seeing the rumored Xbox handheld console at the Xbox Games Showcase, we were left somewhat disappointed after it failed to materialize. However, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer has offered up some rather promising comments about a potential portable, and it’s clear he’s in love with the idea.

“I think we should have a handheld,” Spencer tells IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey during a post-Xbox Showcase edition of IGN Live. The big boss certainly doesn’t hide his enthusiasm for it, though he refuses to confirm it as a way to play the new Xbox games of tomorrow.

“I don’t want to say anything […] but the future for us in hardware is pretty awesome, and I’m incredibly excited about the work that the team is doing around different form factors – different ways to play. Today was about the games […] but we will have a time to come out and talk more about platform.”

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Of course, McCaffrey wasn’t going to let him off lightly. Further quizzing Spencer on if a hypothetical Xbox handheld would be more Steam Deck than PS Portal when it comes to playing games locally, Spencer states that he thinks being able to play offline “is really important” – read into that what you will.

Last week, it was reported that Xbox would offer up its first teaser for the rumored next-gen handheld at its big showcase. However, all we got was a reaffirmation from Xbox president Sarah Bond that the console maker was working on big things in hardware-land, as well as a few new additions to the Series X|S line-up.

Should Spencer’s latest comments have any substance to them, though, then they would add weight to previous chatter this year from Windows Central’s Jez Corden and industry insider ‘MAGG’ that we’re in for a fully-native Xbox handheld. I’m still holding out for a dockable console like Nintendo’s Switch, but I’d gladly shell out for an Xbox-adjacent Steam Deck – an on-the-go Game Pass machine sounds dreamy.

For more of the latest news on the best Xbox games showcased at the Xbox event, check out the leaked Avowed launch date that could see it fight Assassin’s Creed Shadows on day one. Additionally, peep the big reveal trailer for Doom The Dark Ages – rip and tear, baby.