“I want my Lenovo Legion Go to feel like an Xbox”: Phil Spencer on how Xbox can improve handheld gaming

Xbox Asus ROG Ally Handheld Gaming
(Image credit: Xbox)

In a recent interview with Polygon at the Game Developers Conference, Xbox head Phil Spencer spoke briefly about what he wants Xbox's contribution to the handheld gaming market to look like. Unfortunately, it wasn't necessarily confirmation that hardware is on the way, even with the recent rumors of Xbox's handheld console being in development.

Instead, Spencer is mostly just confessing his desire to make changes to the Xbox platform in these spaces as a whole. He specifically mentions that he has "This list of everything that makes it not feel like an Xbox," referring to his Lenovo Legion Go.

What Phil Spencer thinks Xbox can do for handheld gaming

Spencer talks about the desire for one of these devices to "Feel like the dash of my Xbox," which is likely something any user of the Xbox App on a Windows handheld PC has felt strongly. In the past, I even wrote about how Xbox's app is miserable on the Asus ROG Ally, and with what Spencer is saying in these quotes, it seems like the company's plans to jump in on this market could go beyond just hardware. He specifically says "I want my Lenovo Legion Go to feel like an Xbox."

One of these complaints involves all of his games being in one place, alongside those games having the save files he wants. He even mentions wanting to be able to "Boot into the Xbox app in a full screen, but in a compact mode." This is one huge criticism of the Xbox app on Windows gaming handhelds, and I would love for the company to find a way to make it feel more like a dedicated Xbox dashboard.

Lenovo Legion Go review: This is how I like to game

(Image credit: Future)

Beyond an app, Spencer comments that "Nine times out of ten" what usually frustrates him "Are more Windows-based than device-based." He also admits that it's something he feels "Some ownership of." While all of this initially could be taken as just thoughts thrown out into the wind, he also says he has a "List of things we should go do." It implies he is planning on bringing huge changes to Xbox on Windows handheld devices.

He does not want people to feel "lesser" if they're playing somewhere else. This is pretty much the exact experience on my Asus ROG Ally when trying to navigate the Xbox app, and it would bring me great joy to see the company address these problems in an update. It would be even better if Microsoft implemented a handheld-friendly mode through Windows.

Claire Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Claire finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Claire is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.