The Xbox Handheld Should Replace the Dying Series S ASAP

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, standing next to an image of an ASUS ROG Ally
Credit: Xbox / ASUS

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, standing next to an image of an ASUS ROG Ally
Credit: Xbox / ASUS

I sat through an hour of game announcements, some exciting and some disappointing, eagerly waiting for a tease of new hardware. The Series X|S line of Xbox consoles is only four years old, but the rumored mid-gen refresh and handheld were on my mind. However, I soon discovered my anticipation was for nothing.

Don't get me wrong—I love seeing new games revealed. As a gamer first and foremost, the huge range of genres and titles on display at the Xbox Games Showcase on June 9, 2024, had me in awe. However, the lingering idea of Xbox revealing its first portable console, one that aims to reach the top of the best gaming handhelds list, excited me.

Given that Phil Spencer and Gabe Newell, President of Valve (creator of the beloved Steam Deck), have been in talks recently, I hoped for a partnership for an Xbox handheld. Spencer would collaborate with Newell to create an iconic portable console that could achieve the success of the Steam Deck, while Valve would receive official Xbox support in return. However, it was only a dream of mine.

There are other options to play Game Pass on the go right now. While the Xbox app isn't available on the Steam Deck's Linux-based operating system, a fair number of Windows handhelds can play Game Pass titles. Unfortunately, Windows is the worst part of these handhelds, making consoles like the ASUS ROG Ally and the MSI Claw disappointing.

Having a dedicated Xbox console for on-the-go gaming would certainly give different audiences the chance to enjoy Xbox's catalog of games. Despite not being a true handheld, the PlayStation Portal has been a huge success in sales, and the upcoming Nintendo Switch 2 has Nintendo fans desperate for any news on the Switch's successor.

Considering that the PS5 is outselling the Xbox Series consoles by five times, Xbox clearly needs to release something to help it stand out against its rival. An official handheld, one that plays all Xbox games and potentially supports Steam, would certainly make Xbox stand out and potentially win back some people who switched to Team Blue.

Of course, Spencer has made it clear he wants an Xbox handheld, but nothing is official until it's revealed. We hope it can replace the ailing Series S, especially.

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