So far, Xbox has only released home consoles, but should Microsoft develop a handheld Xbox console for gaming on the go?

In the near-25 years of Microsoft developing games consoles, the Xbox has always remained in the home under a TV. However, gamers are now asking for a portable Xbox for handheld gaming sessions away from the living room.

While Microsoft has not announced any plans for whether it will release a handheld Xbox or not, there are a couple of very compelling reasons why Microsoft could leap into portable game consoles as well as a few reasons why it may not be the best idea.

Xbox Power On Key Art

The Argument for a Handheld Xbox

The main reason why a handheld Xbox console would be a hit is that it would be amazing to play the whole Game Pass library on the go without needing a super fast internet connection.

Currently, Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can stream Game Pass titles on their phone, tablet or laptop. However, this requires a very fast internet connection to play smoothly and can suffer from lag and input delay at slower internet speeds.

Plus, you cannot play any Game Pass titles if you have no internet connection!

Therefore, a dedicated Xbox handheld console where you could download Game Pass titles would be a massive improvement for gamers on the go. Internet connection would no longer be a concern, making Game Pass usable no matter where you are!

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

The other main reason why a handheld Xbox console would be a great idea is that there’s no easy way to use Game Pass on Steam Deck.

While it is possible to access Game Pass on Steam Deck, there is no app for the service, and it is only accessible through Xbox Cloud Gaming on Microsoft Edge. Therefore, many Game Pass subscribers don’t bother using the subscription service on Steam Deck at all.

For this reason, a portable Xbox console with a Game Pass app would almost certainly be the handheld of choice for existing Game Pass subscribers.

Starfield on the Steam Deck

Why Xbox Doesn’t Need a Handheld Console

On the other hand, a handheld Xbox console may not be necessary for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, there is a reasonable possibility that a native Game Pass app will come to Steam Deck at some point in the future, removing the need for a handheld Xbox. This is because a Steam Deck with a native Game Pass would be a more useful device than an Xbox handheld console.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has professed his desire for Game Pass to be available on all devices. For this reason, Microsoft developing a Game Pass app for Steam Deck may be more realistic than a fully-fledged Xbox handheld console.

the Xbox game pass logo

Secondly, Microsoft may not want to invest much time and money into developing a portable Xbox right now.

Xbox is firmly behind PlayStation this console generation, so Microsoft would be wise to focus on its next home console rather than a portable one. If it wants to catch up to Sony in the next generation of gaming then developing a must-buy console should be top of its priorities.

Image of the top of the Xbox Series X glowing green

Finally, with ever-increasing internet speeds available, a handheld Xbox console may not be needed, or will not be relevant for very long.

The only issue with Xbox Cloud Gaming is the need for a fast and stable internet connection. However, as time goes on, slow and patchy internet will become a thing of the past.

In a few years, there will likely be no need for handheld consoles that run games. Instead, streaming games using services like Xbox Cloud Gaming will be completely reliable for use on smartphones thanks to improved internet.

Xbox Cloud Gaming Mobile

Only time will tell whether Xbox releases a portable console or not. However, whether it decides to make a handheld or not, we know that Xbox will continue to push Game Pass onto as many platforms as possible!

Until then, Xbox looks like it will be releasing a new console soon. The first images of an all-digital Xbox Series X have leaked!

Senior Staff Writer
Django grew up with a PlayStation controller in his hands and loves all kinds of games, from Football Manager to Yakuza.