Xbox is reportedly developing a handheld gaming device

A new report has claimed Xbox is currently working on prototypes for a handheld gaming device.
Xbox Controller Self Repair Program

Xbox is reportedly working on a prototype of its own handheld gaming device, per details shared by Jez Corden, Windows Central reporter and co-host of the Xbox Two podcast. On the podcast, Corden claimed Xbox is actively working on a device prototype, with the intention of creating a handheld console that plays Xbox games natively.

“I know that they’ve [Xbox] got handheld prototypes right now,” Corden said, as surfaced by Insider Gaming. “Not a cloud handheld, a fully native Xbox handheld.”

Xbox is allegedly looking to compete with rivals in the space. The handheld gaming market is currently heating up, with devices including the Asus ROG Ally, the Steam Deck, and the Lenovo Legion Go proving very popular with users looking for more flexible ways to play games.

Recently, PlayStation also launched its own handheld – the PlayStation Portal – and while this is cloud-based only, it has so far impressed audiences, and proved to be a handy companion for portable gaming.

Read: One month with the PlayStation Portal

Any potential Xbox handheld gaming device has a core advantage, in that Microsoft compatibility would allow for native Xbox and PC game playing – but whatever plans eventuate, we’ll have to wait to see what’s in store.

Concurrent to these rumours, Microsoft Head of Gaming Phil Spencer has been talking up the potential of gaming handhelds, recently speaking to Polygon about the emerging devices.

“I want my Lenovo Legion Go to feel like an Xbox,” Spencer said. “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 further confirmed Microsoft is considering “different hardware form factors and things that [they] could go do” for the future of Xbox.

While he didn’t confirm a device is in development, it does appear the handheld market is being watched closely at the company. For now, we’ll have to wait to see what Microsoft has planned, and whether it branches out into the popular handheld gaming space.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.