A newly published Tencent patent shows the company is curious about handheld-console hybrids hardware.
Tencent currently helps distribute and release the Switch in mainland China, but a new patent suggests they could eventually make a PC-like handheld console of their own. A recently published patent from August 2020 shows a Windows-powered handheld that's very similar to the AYA Neo. It even has a little kickstand, like the Nintendo Switch.
Unlike the Switch, or Alienware's experimental Concept UFO handheld, Tencent's handheld doesn't have removable controllers. The D-pad is also fused together. The patent makes mention of PC-level hardware, and it's possible Windows would be the central operating system.
This isn't the first time Tencent has patented games hardware; the company has filed multiple patents that extend back to 2016, including a cube-like console that "can achieve dual-screen interaction between two ends or multiple-end electronic devices, such as dual-screen interaction between mobile phones and TVs."
Remember that this is just a patent, so it may not ever come to fruition. The billion-dollar tech giant hasn't ever made its own video games hardware and the company is unlikely to use Windows because it's an open-ended operating system. Getting regulatory approval in China is also a tough hurdle due to stringent entertainment laws. But if it's any company that could fund such an endeavor, it's definitely Tencent (the company earned over $16 billion from gaming in 2019).
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