Microsoft May Be Developing A Handheld Console Version Of Windows

The trend of handheld gaming consoles has been steadily on the rise, and that was well before the Steam Deck came into the picture last year. Microsoft, perhaps in acknowledging the growing trend, may very well be working on a version of Windows that’s tailored specifically for the portable medium.

According to a leak by WalkingCat (@_h0x0d_), the software company and owner of Windows appears to be exploring concepts around a Windows handheld mode that would work on handheld consoles such as the Steam Deck, Ayaneo 2, and even the OneXPlayer OXP2. The video demonstration of the software itself, it should be noted, is part of a hackathon project that was recorded back in September, and the narrator does a pretty bang-up job explaining the current issues running Windows on a device such as the Deck.

The narrator makes it clear that the current state of the software isn’t ready for “prime time”, citing that lack of controller support for the Steam Deck – Valve’s handheld console is used as a reference throughout the video – outside of Steam apps and games being one of the primary issues at the moment. Other issues of trying to run Windows on Steam Deck include games not working well because they can’t interpret what kind of a display it is, having trouble accessing the console’s VRAM, right down to the touch-based keyboard of the OS not being optimised, with the narrator explaining that it is likely due to the fact that it was initially designed for a screen in portrait mode.

To that end, the narrator then shows off a “Gaming Shell” created during the hackathon and using Windows as the base. Created by Hayden McAfee, a senior software engineer at Microsoft, the shell gives us a glimpse of a setup where the drivers and services are installed, the controller works, and there is even a launcher from where users can access games from different digital platforms.

As interesting and exciting as this is, it is important to remember that the entire project is simple that at this stage: a project. As such, there is still no potential release date for the Windows “gaming shell”. Hopefully, when it does actually take on a final form, Microsoft will just release the software as it is, and not make it an exclusive by launching it on an all-new, separate console.

(Source: The Verge, GameRant, Gizmodo)

The post Microsoft May Be Developing A Handheld Console Version Of Windows appeared first on Lowyat.NET.