Upcoming handheld gaming consoles to look out for in 2023
There are a plethora of handheld devices coming to market, and this array of products can be bewildering. If you want to know which devices deserve your full attention, read on.
The concept of a handheld device that could be as powerful and capable as a full-sized PC rig used to be in the realm of science fiction, but since the launch of the Nintendo Switch and Valve’s Steam Deck, that dream has become a reality. This opened the floodgates for a range of handheld computing and gaming devices.
If you are confused about what handheld you should add to your wish list, then this guide has you covered. From complete handheld PC devices to Android-powered gaming machines and single-board computers (SBC) running their own custom OS, there are many types to choose from.
This guide examines some of the upcoming devices that deserve a closer look.
Here are some handhelds you should keep your eyes on over the next few months.
- Upcoming Ayaneo handhelds
- Sony PlayStation Portal
- Steam Deck 2
- Nintendo Switch 2
- Miyoo Mini Flip
- Orange Pi
- PocketMan P1
Upcoming Ayaneo handheld consoles
Ayaneo is among the first few companies to release a portable gaming console to the market. It followed the release of the highly successful Nintendo Switch. The company has been able to carve out a niche for its Windows-powered consoles.
The company has been known for introducing many devices with iterative hardware updates and fancy designs in a short period of time, often launched via IndieGoGo.
Ayaneo Next II
The Ayaneo Next 2 is one of the company’s many upcoming handheld Windows gaming consoles and is one of the few to sport an 8-inch LCD display. The company shared a teaser for the Next 2 sometime back, which hinted at the presence of Steam Deck-like trackpads that make it easy for users to play games that require touch input.
This console is also confirmed to come with an AMD Ryzen 7000 series processor and will have discrete Radeon 780M graphics. While the exact details about the configurations of the Next 2 are unclear, it will offer Steam Deck users a Windows alternative.
The company revealed the first looks of the Ayaneo Slide in March this year. This upcoming console reminds you of good ol’ Nokia phones and gaming gadgets from the 90s that came with a slidable display exposing a physical keyboard.
With this retro design, Ayaneo is looking to combine the comfort of a physical keyboard with modern gaming hardware on a portable device, as typing in such a cramped space can be a headache for people with fat fingers. Moreover, the Slide can also double up as a laptop if required. You can also respond to emails or type long messages without getting frustrated.
The Ayaneo Slide will also feature an AMD 7000 series processor, and the angle of the sliding screen will be adjustable according to your preference.
Another Windows gaming console with a retro-inspired design, the Flip will remind you of a Nintendo DS or a GameBoy Advance SP gaming console from yesteryear.
As per the teasers released by the company, the Flip will sport a clamshell design with a screen that can be swivelled up, revealing a full-size keyboard. The clamshell design also ensures that the screen remains protected when closed. The hinge is expected to hold the display in a preferred position, mimicking a small portable gaming computer.
Ayaneo Pocket DMG
Ayaneo seems to be announcing a new handheld every week, or at least it feels that way. The latest tease from the company is regarding the Remake Initiative, which will conclude with Ayaneo’s updated take on the venerable Nintendo Game Boy called the Pocket DMG.
Even compared to Ayaneo’s other high-end device, the Analogue Pocket, the Pocket DMG is set to be a premium handheld, featuring four action buttons labeled as A, B X, and Y as well as an analog stick of some kind, indicating the device will go further than just the 8-bit era.
The choice of internal hardware has not yet been revealed, so the full device specs are not yet known.
Sony PlayStation Portal
The Sony PlayStation Portal is the most anticipated portable gaming console, although it may not qualify as one. With PlayStation Portal, Sony is repeating what it has done with the PS VR, introducing a new line of devices requiring a PlayStation 5 to work.
According to Sony, PlayStation Portal is a “dedicated device that enables you to stream any game through your PS5 console using remote play.”
So essentially, the Sony PlayStation Portal will be a low-powered handheld gaming console with an eight-inch HD screen and the same controller design as the PlayStation 5’s Dualsense controller.
The PlayStation Portal will help users play games from the PS 5 using a remote play on WiFi.
Steam Deck 2
While Valve has not openly confirmed the launch date of a Steam Deck’s successor, an interview with some folks behind the Deck mentioned that the Steam Deck 2 might not be launching anytime soon.
Valve has, however, confirmed that a “multi-generational product line” is in the works. It will be “supported well into the foreseeable future” and the company promised to “build new versions to be even more open and capable than the first version of Steam Deck has been.” This more or less confirms Steam Deck 2’s existence.
That said, this upcoming handheld gaming console could carry a different moniker, and Steam Deck Pro cannot be ruled out either.
Whatever it may be called, we hope this new console from Valve is priced aggressively, similar to the first-gen Steam Deck.
Nintendo Switch 2
The Nintendo Switch started it all in 2017, and while we’ve had a couple of variants – Switch Lite and Switch OLED released in 2019 and 2021, respectively, we are still waiting for a successor to the original Switch.
That said, while an upgrade is long due, there needs to be concrete information about the launch or specifications. The most we have currently is that Nintendo does not plan to release a new handheld before Spring 2024.
Miyoo Mini Flip
The community that loves retro gaming consoles is excited about the upcoming release of Miyoo Mini Flip. As the name suggests, the Mini Flip will ship with a flip-out clamshell design. The display on this console is expected to be a 3.5-inch LCD panel. Miyoo makes some of the most popular gaming handhelds in this segment, like the Miyoo Mini Plus.
While not much is known about the specifications or the launch date of Miyoo Mini Flip, as it is expected to run 8-bit/64-bit games, we can anticipate an affordable price tag and slightly more powerful hardware specs than its predecessors.
Orange Pi handheld
Orange Pi, known for its open-source microcomputer boards, is rumored to be working on a powerful handheld gaming console. It has a Rockchip RK3588S processor for Android/Linux gaming or AMD Ryzen 7 7800U/6800U for Windows gaming.
It might sport a 7-inch LCD panel, stereo speakers, a couple of microphones, three USB C ports, and two customizable buttons at the back. The top-end Windows variant might come with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage.
The handheld is expected to launch in China at an approximate starting price of $217, up to $506 for the flagship variant. There needs to be clarity on its availability in China as well as international markets.
An unusual entry into the handheld gaming space comes from Twig Studio, who are working on a concept for a handheld device that uses a sleek metal shell in a vertical configuration roughly resembling an early Game Boy.
The PocketMan P1 features four face buttons, two analog sticks, and a circular d-pad along with three function buttons labeled Star, Select, and Menu, with four shoulder buttons on the rear of the device, placed on an odd ridge behind the screen.
The screen itself appears to be a bezel-free 4×3 3.5 inch IPS display, a choice that has served a number of pocket handhelds well in the past couple of years.
The PocketMan P1 is only a concept at the moment, and it is unknown if or when it will go into production, or what internal components would be used to power it. The sleek aluminum shell and minimalist design still has a lot of gaming enthusiasts interested, though.