The high-powered handheld gaming market keeps on growing, and now Lenovo is reportedly getting in on the mix. The company had previously started on then dropped a handheld streaming device, but a new report says Lenovo has its eyes set on a full portable gaming machine akin to a Steam Deck.
This “Legion Go” device could be Lenovo’s break into the handheld console market. According to anonymous sources cited by Windows Central, this device would be a Windows 11-based rig running on an AMD Phoenix processor. It would include an 8-inch screen, slightly bigger than the Steam Deck and ROG Ally. It’s also slightly bigger than the more expensive Ayaneo Geek. There’s no word yet what kind of price point Lenovo is aiming for. Gizmodo reached out to Lenovo for comment, but we did not immediately hear back.
The Phoenix range of CPUs are the gaming-centric mobile processor AMD revealed to be the Ryzen 7040 series earlier this year. Of course, we don’t know what kind of power the Legion Go could be packing under the hood, but these ultra-thin processors are designed for lighter laptops, so that could mean something for the Go’s overall silhouette and weight, especially with that bigger screen. As Windows Central points out, this also gives credence to the Windows billing.
This device could be the real deal, considering Lenovo’s previous work in the space. Earlier this year, Liliputing put out a report that the company had built a so-called “Legion Play,” but that never saw a full release. Instead of being a full handheld console, it was a cloud gaming platform akin to the Logitech G Cloud. That Legion Play sported a 7-inch display and was powered on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor. Instead of Windows, it ran on Android 11.
It could be a good move for Lenovo to move on from its cloud gaming ambitions. The G Cloud was disappointing mostly because it necessitated a constant internet connection and could not play games natively. If portability is the aim, then not being beholden to spotty wifi should be the first consideration. However, we’ll have to see if the larger screen cuts into the new device’s battery life as well.
Running on Windows 11 means the system has a lot of potential not just for gaming but for people desperate to run their handheld console as much like a PC as possible. The last consideration is whether the UI will make use of a modified Windows desktop or create some other UI entirely. Leaked video showed Microsoft staff did experiment with a version of Windows designed for Steam Deck-alikes.
Though there’s something to be said about the growing handheld console market. Competition is always a good thing, but Valve has managed to keep on top thanks to its loss-leader strategy. The Asus ROG Ally is the closest in price to the Steam Deck, though it costs $70 more than its competitor’s cheapest version. We’ll have to wait and see if Lenovo has any tricks up its sleeve to give gamers a reason to leave Steam Deck behind.
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