Xbox Half handheld gaming console has retractable side panels to hide away buttons and joystick

If recent leaks by trusted tipsters like Jez Corden (Windows Central Managing Editor) are to be believed, then we should see an Xbox handheld gaming console launch in 2026. Insiders have already hinted that the handheld prototype is already in the development stage and Microsoft plans to reveal some details next year or even earlier.

Interestingly, Microsoft recently sent out a survey about the current usage of handheld gaming devices and whether interested candidates are willing to buy one in the next five years. Also, the survey was keen on knowing whether candidates would prefer the ability to stream games via Xbox Game Pass. So, are we finally looking at a Microsoft handheld gaming device that could dethrone Nintendo Switch, Asus ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go and Steam Deck from the top spots in market share?

Designer: Banseok Seo

Investing years of R&D in developing gaming consoles is a winning formula for Xbox, Sony and even Nintendo. This applies to handhelds too as manufacturers release gaming devices only after a gap of a couple of years or even more. This concept for an Xbox handheld has a great form factor that Microsoft would be keenly observing for its form factor and functionality. Called the Xbox Half, this portable gaming device stands out from the rest when it comes to ergonomics and function. Just like the PSP, this one is good for gaming, consuming multimedia content, and listening to music.

With a retracting beacon of joystick and buttons on both sides, in full-width configuration, the gadget measures 11.30 inches for gaming and a compact mode that conceals them for an 8-inch form factor. This makes the Xbox handheld comfortable and convenient to use. The back panel keeps the brand identity alive as you pull the beacons out the X logo appears. Pretty cool isn’t it? To give distinction to the handheld from the Xbox game console, the buttons and joystick have a muted color hue in black.

Other input buttons including the power button, brightness controller, volume buttons, and the USB Type-C connector and the game slot card lie on the front and rear sides. A lot of thought has been put into conceptualizing the Xbox Half and we are looking forward to seeing what the real thing will look like when finally revealed.