The handheld console market has long been dominated by the Nintendo Switch lineup for the past ten years. However, with the release of the Steam Deck from Valve and the now leaked “Lenovo Legion Play” from Lenovo, the landscape might soon change.
The Lenovo Legion Play was discovered by a forum member at GBA Temp, a forum dedicated to discussing all manners of tech issues. The forum member discovered images showing a Lenovo handheld. The images were then linked to the manufacturer’s own website and suggested the Lenovo Legion Play name.
According to various speculations, the device was supposed to be launched earlier this year but Lenovo’s plans changed for one reason or the other.
Android Authority reports that they were able to take a deep dive into the leak, scraping Lenovo’s website for the images. They report a gaming handheld running Android with a custom launcher.
Icons of the Play Store, GeForce Now and several other Google apps are also present in the pictures. Other notable details spotted in the pictures include USB-C connectivity, a 3.5 mm port, dual analog sticks, four face buttons, a D-pad, shoulder key, and a concave back.
Lenovo’s website also contains a product description that gives more details about the handheld.
“Designed for AAA gaming, the Lenovo Legion Play is the first Android cloud gaming console. The console lets users play hundreds of cloud games, stream their game library, or play mobile games. It features a 7 inch 16:9 FHD bezel-less display, HDR 10, built-in controllers, dual speakers, dual vibration, and a 7,000mAh battery to provide the best gaming experience. Our developer program is open to all game developers. Coming soon in select markets.”
The product description hints that rather than purely targeting Android games, the handheld will be more inclined to play PC titles and other high-profile video games through game streaming services that rely on an internet connection.
This would in theory make the handheld a perfect partner for Google Stadia, while in turn separating it from directly competing with the Nintendo Switch lineup that typically plays games straight from the device without streaming of some sort. Most of Nintendo’s Switch games also typically do not get releases on PC, therefore staying in their own ecosystem.
The Lenovo Legion Play would then be left with the Steam Deck as the main competition. The Steam Deck is also a handheld, but will not run mobile games. It is basically a handheld gaming PC that will take advantage of Steam’s massive game library. It is much more powerful and will run games straight from the hardware with no game streaming required.
Why Lenovo failed to release the handheld earlier in the year is still a mystery, and they are yet to respond to the leaked information regarding the Lenovo Legion Play.
However, the electronics industry has been hit with a massive chip shortage that has been preventing companies from releasing new products. This could have definitely played a part in forcing Lenovo to delay the launch for at least one year.