For several months now, Microsoft’s Xbox division head Phil Spencer has been hinting at the potential development of a portable Xbox game console. In a recent interview with IGN, Spencer gave the strongest hint yet that such a device could be in the works, saying: “I think we should have a handheld, too,” The Verge reports.

This comment adds weight to long-standing rumors about Microsoft’s interest in creating a portable gaming device. Spencer expressed enthusiasm for Microsoft’s future developments, saying: “The future for us in hardware is pretty awesome. The work that the team is doing around different form factors and different ways to play, I’m incredibly excited about.”

Although Spencer refrained from providing specific details, he suggested that Microsoft is considering a portable gaming console that can run games on its own, rather than streaming them from a large console, as is the case with the PlayStation Portal. “I like my ROG Ally, my Lenovo Legion Go, my Steam Deck. I think being able to play games locally is really important,” said Spencer.

Earlier this year, Spencer spoke about his desire to have a compact Xbox mode on Windows portable gaming consoles. In an interview with Polygon, he said: “I want to be able to boot into the Xbox app in a full screen, but in a compact mode.”

Although these are just hints, Spencer’s comments indicate that Microsoft is indeed exploring the possibility of developing a portable Xbox console and is clearly interested in this market. This is not surprising, as portable gaming consoles continue to evolve, and thanks to the emergence of new processors, in particular on the ARM architecture, such as Qualcomm Snapdragon X Plus and Elite, faster models with higher battery life are expected to appear. However, manufacturers also continue to improve existing portable gaming consoles by “working on bugs”, as shown by the announcement of ROG Ally X by ASUS.

Given that Microsoft’s partners are quite interested in producing devices of this class, it would be logical for the company to create its own device under the Xbox brand to offer manufacturers a set of ready-made software solutions that they could use in their own consoles.