Qualcomm--yes, that Qualcomm, whose processor is likely powering your new Android smartphone--has revealed its plans to enter the handheld gaming console market.
GameInformer reports that on the last day of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit this year, the company made a big reveal towards the end: the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform.
The platform, which is an Android-based system, is born of Qualcomm's team up with popular gaming company Razer. As of now, it's classified as a "handheld developer kit", which was designed for game developers who will hopefully create "tailor-made experiences" for it.
Qualcomm's new handheld gaming console dev kit features these specs:
6.65-inch OLED screen at Full HD+ resolution, with a 120Hz refresh rate and 10-bit HDR
A haptics engine, much like typical controller rumble
A 5MP webcam capable of capturing 1080p-60 FPS video, equipped with two microphones
Wi-Fi 6E, 5G mmWave, and sub-6 technologies
A 4K TV out
Integrated 4-way speakers
6,000 mAh battery
A potentially overclocked Snapdragon 888 chip
According to Qualcomm, they plan for their handheld to be "the PC gaming rig of mobile games," writes PCMag. Scheduled to launch next year, the handheld system is releasing under the Razer brand--and perhaps others.
With this handheld gaming console dev kit, Qualcomm is planning to enter a market that's quickly heating up with the likes of Valve, Nintendo, and other small-name manufacturers vying for positions.
Will Qualcomm Be A Major Competitor?
When it comes to competing with bigger names such as Valve or Nintendo in the handheld gaming console market, perhaps not.
As previously mentioned, Qualcomm intended their Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 to be "the PC gaming rig of mobile games." What this could mean is that the company will be targeting mobile/smartphone gaming, which is a completely different niche to that of Nintendo's or Valve's.
Valve's Steam Deck, for instance, is designed as a handheld mini-PC that has enough power to play big-name, AAA games on Steam. On the other hand, Nintendo's niche has always been its unique gaming portfolio of platform exclusives.
Looking ahead, Qualcomm's dev kit could quite possibly carve its own niche where it will be the top dog. But that remains to be seen until next year, when the dev kit (and possibly an actual handheld gaming console) releases under the Razer brand.
Handheld Gaming's Renaissance
One can say that handheld gaming is experiencing an increase in popularity in recent times.
Various handheld PCs and consoles have been around for the last few years, offering people a chance to still play their beloved games even if they don't own current-gen consoles or full-fledged gaming PC systems.
One might argue that this is due in part to people not being able to get their hands on the new consoles (i.e., PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S) without having to pay exorbitant prices. As such, they're turning to handhelds to get their gaming fix.
Qualcomm's planned entry into the market is giving these people a new big-name option to try out.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by RJ Pierce