Is it time for the X(Cloud)Boy?

Would you be interested in a dedicated first-party portable device for xCloud?

  • Cloud-only XBoy
  • Portable One S w/ cloud for next gen
  • Full phone adapter w/ controls, like Razer Kishi
  • I’m happy with my $10 phone clip or touch controls
  • Not interested in xCloud

0 voters

xCloud is awesome, but I have to be honest: the phone clip experience isn’t great. If MS is serious about this whole playing games on a small, portable screen thing, I’d argue it’s time to support it with first party hardware.

There are a couple options I see. But first, it’s worth noting that the entire strategy they’re pursuing means a traditional portable with its own hardware config and games is out. There is no incentive to split development (even Sony couldn’t support both a portable and a home system), there seems to be little market for portable-only games, and creating a mobile hardware platform would further fracture the Xbox platform (i.e. Game Pass) between portable, console, and PC.

So, here are the options I see:

  • A dedicated xCloud-only portable. Could be super slim, basically a Switch form factor but maybe wouldn’t even need a fan. Just enough hardware to connect to WiFi and display the stream. Optional SIM of course. Estimated cost $150-$250, w/ optional dock.

  • A portable Xbox One S. I think this may already be plausible in a Switch-like form factor on 7nm, but if not it should be doable after another process shrink. Play any digital One games or BC 360/OG games locally if you want. Reasonably fast flash storage means it has better load times than the home One S. Expandable with SD and SIM. Next gen games via xCloud only. Estimated cost $250-$500, depending on storage. (I could see it just requiring you to bring your own SD card. If built in, I’d think 128 minimum or you wouldn’t even be able to install MCC out of the box. But I’d love to shell out for the 512 version and take a bunch of games on the go.)

  • A first party version of the Razer Kishi, i.e. hardware controls/adapter built to fit the phone you already have. I don’t think there’s much need for this since third parties are already covering it well, but MS makes nice hardware and it could be neat to see their take. Estimated cost $100.

  • Nothing, just focus on getting touch controls working and supporting the third party clip/adapter ecosystem.

Which would you want? What do you think is realistic?

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For me the less devices, the better. They have shown that xCloud is possible with a normal android phone, I no longer see value on a xcloud-only piece of hardware. Unless this hw is just to connect a TV to xCloud + xbox controller (with no space for local games).

I tested clips and kishi, and both work for me. I had some issues while using the clip in bed, as weight distribution was kind of weird… but still doable. So I hope we will see more investment towards hardware controls rather than quick-fixes to attach the xbox controller.

Given that Microsoft is back to the phone business, I can see them making something more xCloud-oriented (with their own version of razer kishi). Not in the short-term, but by the mid / end of the generation. Apart from xbox, Microsoft approach to HW is to provide something for microsoft fans (but not mass production), and influence other manufacturers on their tech vision. I do think they will use this position in the market to prepare phone manufacturers for whatever the next-next-gen is.

I dont think one would sell enough, while there will be a niche of people wanting dedicated controls, i think 3rd parties will just keep on making better and better smartphone controllers.

i think if it could play all xbox one games and the other old games that would be enough. It could stream all xseries x games with x cloud. I would happily pay for this

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As a mostly handheld gamer I know what option I would want the most , but the most realistic option that involves any form of making hardware is them taking something from their surface line and maybe making it more gaming + xcloud oriented.

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I’d be delighted to see Microsoft join the mobile gaming space with a dedicated Xbox handheld. I think a hybrid system would be best: an Xbox One equivalent mobile gaming device merged with smartphone/tablet like capabilities that allowed for most modern features (phone calls, mobile apps, social media, photo/video capture, etc.) as well as full XCloud support. I would definitely support a device like this, however, I may be an outlier here. I have grown to really enjoy handheld gaming which is why my Switch garners so much of my attention recently.

Maybe MS could make a gaming centric only Surface Duo? just like a nintendo DS but with a 5G mobile connection built in that would be pretty cool. I’ve yet to experience xcloud because it’s not in Australia but would love to when it launches here.