Gaming phones have surpassed a large share in the market for handheld gaming devices. While brands like ASUS have gone so far as to make gaming phones like the ROG Phone 5 that offer functionality as a gaming console, the Nintendo Switch has remained at the top. The ability to be used both as a handheld gaming device or a dedicated console that can be connected to a larger screen has made it incredibly popular. While an upgraded Nintendo Switch is scheduled to arrive later this year, it is also reported that chipmaker Qualcomm is working on its own game console with a Snapdragon chipset and running a modified version of Android 12.
A report earlier this week revealed that chipmaker Qualcomm has envisioned a handheld game console with functionality like the Nintendo Switch. It is even suggested to come with removable controllers like Nintendo̵
If it sees the light of day next year, it can run on Android 12. The game console is said to have a custom launcher tailored for gaming and may even include the Epic Games launcher for easy access to Fortnite. The console is expected to be priced below $ 300, making it unlikely that a flagship Snapdragon 800 series chipset will be packed under the hood.
If Qualcomm plunges into the gaming console segment, we may see a viable alternative to the Nintendo Switch for reasons other than price. The NVIDIA Tegra chip that powers the switch is old and has a relatively understated CPU even compared to most mid-sized Qualcomm SoCs. Therefore, Qualcomm’s expertise as a chipset manufacturer can help it offer higher performance than the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite at a lower price.
The biggest problem, of course, is the difference in size between Android and Nintendo’s game libraries. The number of AAA games available on Switch – both from Nintendo and from third-party studios – far exceeds the number of titles available on Android. Nevertheless, the number of high quality games on Android is growing with recent additions like Final Fantasy VIII: Remastered, Genshin Impact, and Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated. Android is also a far more capable platform for retro console emulation, which is admittedly a niche, but has an increasing number of fans.
What do you think of this news? Would you at all be interested in buying this product when it comes out? Will Qualcomm’s listing spur interest in developing or porting AAA titles to Android? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Featured Image: Nintendo Switch running an Android 10 port