MSI Claw 8 AI+ Release Date

MSI Claw 8 AI Plus: Release Date Rumors & Specs

The next MSI Claw is already in the works…

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Though we were initially excited about the potential of the MSI Claw – MSI’s new entrant into the market of handheld game consoles – the initial launch has been met tepidly. It’s no surprise then that an improved version of the console is in the works: though the MSI Claw 8 AI+ release date remains a guarded secret, the speed at which MSI has developed this new product could mean a rapid course-correction for the handheld.

We’ve broken down everything we know about the new MSI Claw model, from potential specs to a possible release window, to keep you in the picture about this new gaming handheld. Especially as contemporary competitors like the ASUS ROG Ally X are already leaving the Claw in the dust, can MSI catch up to the industry?

MSI Claw A1M

MSI Claw A1M

RAM

16GB

Screen Resolution

1080p

Screen Size

7″

MSI Claw 8 AI+ Release Date Window

The MSI Claw 8 AI+ was revealed to a select number of industry press members at Computex 2024, with the promise that the new iteration of the handheld was not due to replace the original Claw – rather both would be improved upon progressively. Those invited were also told to expect a September 2024 release for the Claw 8 AI+, though DigitalTrends‘ Jacob Roach was somewhat unconvinced:

[MSI] said that the new device should launch in September. That could change, as MSI was clearly showing off a prototype when I visited its Taipei headquarters.”

Source: Jacob Roach, DigitalTrends

Given the 6-month turnaround between our first glimpse of the MSI Claw and the new model’s development, we’re in agreement. This would only give MSI 3 months to finalize production on the Claw 8 AI+. And whilst the initial Claw had a similar pipeline, we’re hoping for a more refined product.

As such, we’re predicting that the Claw 8 AI+ will likely launch closer to November 2024, with the intervening period filled with improvements to the original MSI Claw. We’re still hopeful that MSI can redeem the launch of the Claw and make it as popular a Steam Deck alternative as it deserves to be.

MSI Claw 8 AI+ Specs: What We Know

MSI has kept their cards close to their chest when discussing the MSI Claw 8 AI+ – given that they were presenting to a room full of journalists, we’re not surprised. What few details we have paint an interesting picture: the Claw 8 AI+ is set to employ one of Intel’s new Lunar Lake processors. We don’t currently know which one, and details are few and far between following the CPU’s reveal earlier in 2024 at Intel Vision, but the approximate performance increase is promising. Compared to the Meteor Lake range – the CPUs currently used by the original Claw models – we’re expecting an approximate 70% improvement in performance, with AI-boosted processes getting a major acceleration.

Similarly, the integrated Intel XeSS graphics are set to see major performance enhancement using these new SKUs – though as we say, there are no set metrics at present. The new Intel GPU architecture, called “Battlemage”, sounds especially promising. Given that we’re getting a larger screen (8″ up from the original Claw’s 7″), we hope that graphical fidelity will literally be in the palm of our hands upon release.

Another confirmed spec from MSI is that the new Claw 8 AI+ will boast 32GB of LPDDR5x RAM, which is an interesting figure for anyone who has followed the Claw’s development. Initial leaks prior to the Claw’s release reported that the base model would have 32GB of RAM, before the official reveal produced 3 different Claw models, all with 16GB of RAM. Is it possible that the Claw 8 AI+ was initially meant to launch alongside the other MSI handhelds in March? Regardless, the doubling of RAM is welcome and aligns the Claw 8 AI+ more with the ASUS ROG Ally X.

Speaking of, MSI is also following the example set by ASUS and has implemented a major battery improvement to the Claw 8 AI+. Boosted up to an 80WHr battery, this will give the new Claw the much-needed gameplay longevity that a handheld console needs. The 1TB SSD, which was initially only available on the most expensive MSI Claw variant, is now the benchmark for the Claw 8 AI+.

MSI Claw 8 AI+ Specs: At A Glance

MSI Claw 8 AI+MSI Claw A1M
CPUINTEL Lunar Lake (TBA)INTEL Core Ultra 7 155H
RAM32GB LPDDR5x16GB LPDDR5-6400
Storage1TB1TB
Battery80WHr53WHr
Source: Videocardz

Will the MSI Claw 8 AI+ Be Worth It?

With this being all that we currently know about the MSI Claw 8 AI+, it’s hard to determine if the new handheld will truly be worth it. MSI apparently hinted that the Claw 8 AI+’s announcement will also warrant a price drop for the “older” Claw models. Though that sounds positive for those wanting to buy the Claw, it could mean that the Claw 8 AI+ adopts that same RRP.

With the Claw 8 AI+ joining the stacked lineup of gaming handhelds set to debut in 2024, with both the ASUS ROG Ally X and the Zotac Zone expected within the year, consumers are spoiled for choice. Though many still idolize the Steam Deck as the apex of handheld gaming, we believe the performance upgrades of one of these more modern models could dethrone it – but in the case of the Claw 8 AI+, that remains to be seen.

In Summary

We have not yet heard of an official MSI Claw 8 AI+ release date, beyond a possible window towards the tail-end of 2024, but initial details have us cautiously interested in this console upgrade. The MSI Claw’s initial launch was somewhat squandered by competitors, leaks and a premium price point; but the speed at which MSI has pivoted to address consumer concerns could be a sign of great things to come – or it could be history repeating itself…

For more on the latest handhelds, including the latest on full-fledged consoles like the rumored PS5 Pro, check out our other features!

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