Upcoming handheld gaming consoles to look out for in 2023
Looking for the best upcoming handheld gaming consoles? We’ve summarized all of the big-hitters that you definitely don’t want to miss out on right here.
The demand for handheld gaming consoles is at an all-time high. With various new brands joining the race, it only adds to the competition and offers more options outside of Valve’s popular Steam Deck.
Interestingly, these consoles are not dependent on one specific operating system. We’ve got a bunch of Linux-powered consoles (including retro consoles), many Windows-powered gaming beasts, and more than a few rocking Android at their core, offering the much-needed variety and flair to the ecosystem.
The below list has more than a few upcoming handheld gaming consoles that you should watch out for in 2023.
- Upcoming Ayaneo handhelds
- Lenovo Legion Go
- Sony Project Q
- Steam Deck 2 / Steam Deck Pro
- Nintendo Switch 2 / Switch Pro
- Miyoo Mini Flip
- Ayn Odin 2
- Orange Pi
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.
Portable console maker Ayaneo has revealed yet another portable gaming PC, the Ayaneo Kun. What makes it exciting, though, is the company’s claim that the Ayaneo Kun will be the “Most powerful Windows handheld console yet.”
The teaser shared by the company reveals that the Kun will have an immersive bezel-less 8.4-inch screen. What makes this console more interesting is its dual touchpads and a Windows Hello camera for added security. Combined, these features are a first for portable Windows gaming consoles.
The company has not yet revealed the key specs, however, it’s being hinted that Kun will have an improved heat dissipation system and a significantly larger battery life.
We’re yet to get clarity on Ayaneo Kun’s launch date.
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 Air
Ayaneo also revealed the technical specification of its first Android-powered gaming console. The Pocket Air will run on Android 12 and will be powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 SoC. It will have a 5.5-inch AMOLED display which could be relatively small for a handheld gaming console.
The company has confirmed that the Pocket Air will have a 7350 mAh battery along with other key features like a fingerprint module for biometrics, hall-sensing sticks and triggers, a gyroscope, a dual-mic vibration motor, and an AyaHome launcher.
The Twitter post also reveals that the Ayaneo Pocket Air might be sold via the Indiegogo crowdsourcing platform and will be up for pre-orders in July, with shipments expected to start in August.
Lenovo Legion Go
The Lenovo Legion Go is the latest addition to this list. Speculated to launch before the end of 2023, the Legion Go could come with an 8-inch touchscreen display and removable joy-con-like controllers.
Reports hint that it could run on Windows 11 out of the box and be powered by AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840U APU, which powers several other handheld consoles.
The Legion Go will be Lenovo’s first-ever attempt at launching handheld consoles, and it needs to be seen if the company makes it available outside of China.
We’re not sure about the storage and memory combinations, nor have we come across any rumor about the tentative pricing of Lenovo Legion Go as of right now. But, we’ll be sure to update you as we hear more.
Sony Project Q
The Sony Project Q is the most anticipated portable gaming console, although it may not qualify as one. With Project Q, 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, Project Q is a “dedicated device that enables you to stream any game through your PS5 console using remote play.”
So essentially, the Sony Project Q 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.
While it might not be called Project Q when it starts retailing, it will help users play games from the PS 5 using a remote play on WiFi.
Steam Deck 2 / Steam Deck Pro
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 / Switch Pro
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.
Ayn Odin 2
Ayn might be a familiar name in handheld consoles. However, its upcoming gaming console Odin 2, might be one of the most competitively priced devices out there. There are multiple reasons why Odin 2 is significant. Firstly, it will be powered by the latest and the most powerful smartphone chip, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
Secondly, it will run on Android out of the box, ensuring that users can access thousands of free games apart from premium games.
Last but not least, the company has revealed that the Ayn Odin 2 will retail at a starting price of $299, making it one of the most affordable gaming consoles on the market. Aside from a premium build, the Odin 2 can sport up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
Ayn plans to make the console available via a crowdfunding project on Indigogo.
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.