Prototypes for a Lenovo handheld gaming console show up on sale in China

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Prototypes of an unreleased Lenovo handheld called Legion Play are being sold in China, showing what could have been a would-be rival to Logitech and Razer's cloud gaming devices. 

YouTuber Taki Udon (opens in new tab) (spotted by Tom's Hardware (opens in new tab)) bought one of these prototypes and did an extensive hands-on with the rare unreleased handheld. Udon said he paid $160 for the unit on a second-hand market, and the seller told him that there were 1,000 models in "all different levels of quality," but only 100 were in the condition you see in the video.

That's not what it would've cost if it had officially made it to retail: For context, the Logitech G Cloud (opens in new tab) retails for $350, and the 5G-enabled Razer Edge (opens in new tab) will hit shelves at $399 later this month. Legion Play seems closer spec-wise to the G Cloud since both are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor and have a similar design. 

The UI is what you'd expect from an Android device, and it includes a Tencent gaming app that looks like a hub for games and demos that's similar to the one on the Logitech G Cloud. A sticker on the back of the console in the video shows that it was codenamed "Zelda."

Liliputing found references to the Legion Play on the Lenovo website in late 2021 and speculated that Lenovo had planned to announce the Legion Play at Mobile World Congress but, for some reason, had a change of heart. 

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The specs that were found at the time had the Legion Play with a 1080p display with HDR support and a 7,000mAh battery (larger than the G Cloud's 6,000mAh battery), which looks the same as the prototype model shown, which came with 64GB of storage space. One of the cool details in the video is that the Legion Play prototype supports display output over USB Type-C, which is something the G Cloud cannot do.

The Legion Play prototype wouldn't beat out the Steam Deck or even the Nintendo Switch in terms of power. If it's anything like the G Cloud, it's basically a really powerful Android tablet. As a cloud gaming device, though, it has more than enough juice to stream games or run an emulator.

Lenovo seemingly made quite a few of these prototypes, which I'd imagine would have been demo units to show the press at a tradeshow. From the video, the Legion Play looks very much like a finished product, so it's curious that it never saw the light of day.

Lenovo did give the following statement to Udon regarding the Legion Play:

"While we can't comment on speculation around potential innovations, we are always experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of our tech, and gaming is one of the many focus areas we continue to explore as part of our wider innovation."

Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for nearly ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, and Tom's Guide.