Qualcomm and Razer launch Snapdragon-powered handheld game development kit

What happened now? With Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck launch on everyone’s mind, companies like Razer and Qualcomm are seeing a growing consumer interest in powerful yet portable PC gaming devices. That’s why the two companies have teamed up to develop an all-new portable gaming machine. Rather, the development kit for one. The device will be powered by the recently announced first-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x processor.

The device doesn’t have a pretty codename right now, so Qualcomm simply calls it the first “Snapdragon G3x Handheld Game Development Kit,” which isn’t entirely true. But it normal. Neither Razer nor Qualcomm are trying to sell this to the average user, so a flashy product name is not required. The announcement leaked a couple of days ago and since then we’ve just been waiting for an official disclosure.

So, if this gadget is not for casual gamers, what is an its purpose? Like any developer kit, it is designed to help game and hardware developers create products well suited to the handheld gaming market, which is likely to grow significantly in the coming years.

This is especially true if Steam Deck and its competitors are selling enough units to grab the attention of developers. Given that the Steam Deck has received so many reservations that Valve had to reschedule its estimated launch date several times, we doubt this will be an issue.

Anyway, the device is wide, rectangular, and features a fairly standard set of buttons: two joysticks, a d-pad, two shoulder buttons, two triggers, four labeled buttons on the front, and three additional buttons for triggering, selecting, etc. and another option, the name of which we cannot make out.

In terms of other physical specs, the device boasts a 6.65-inch OLED display with 1080p resolution and support for refresh rates up to 120Hz. It also has a built-in 5MP webcam designed for streaming, with support for 1080p, 60fps recording. In addition, you will find two microphones located to the left and right of the display for capturing audio.

While we assume most users will play with headphones or earphones, the device does contain “4-way speakers” that purportedly deliver “fantastic sound.” Qualcomm says the ergonomics are good too, but we can’t confirm this without trying the device ourselves.

What about the interior hardware? It is obviously powered by the Snapdragon G3x as previously mentioned (which contains an unspecified Adreno GPU), but other details like the amount of RAM are still up in the air. The device has a USB-C port, DisplayPort over USB-C, Bluetooth 5.2 support and a 6000 mAh battery.

Interestingly, Qualcomm says the G3x Gen 1 gaming platform will support cloud gaming, Android gaming, PC gaming, and even using Android apps from the same device. Obviously, this isn’t impossible to achieve on a regular PC (far from it), but if the switching between all of these features is smooth, Qualcomm might have something very special.

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