As a part of the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen1 announcement, the company also unveiled their first dedicated platform for handheld gaming platforms called the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1. And to our surprise, Razer stepped in for developing a handheld gaming dev kit that is powered by the new chip.
While the top-tier SoCs of the Snapdragon line-up do perform at high-framerates, this is the first time Qualcomm has released a chipset that is dedicated to handheld gaming. Razer teamed up with the chipmaker to develop a gaming handheld platform for game developers.
This could be the rumored handheld gaming device that Qualcomm was developing. Qualcomm did not exactly reveal the technical specifications of the new chipset but the Snapdragon G3x Handheld Development Kit has some very interesting features.
The device does look very similar to the Android gaming handhelds from GPD and other Chinese brands. The display features an OLED HDR panel with a refresh rate of 120Hz. Qualcomm set the screen resolution at 1080p, so it’s easy for the new Adreno GPU to keep a stable framerate at 120fps. While smartphones don’t usually have advanced cooling methods as gaming PCs or handhelds, the new Razer-Qualcomm dev kit comes with dedicated cooling and air vents to keep the performance of the chipset from throttling.
The device also appears to have dedicated physical buttons with the usual asymmetrical Xbox controller layout. Since many Android games do have touchscreen controls, Qualcomm mentioned that they have partnered with a company with the expertise for on-screen mapping controls so gamers can make full advantage of the physical controls and analog sticks.
The company also mentioned the developer kit will run on Android OS and will be open to support for other operating system platforms in the future. There are other features such as stereo haptics, Bluetooth 5.2, Snapdragon Sound with 4-way speakers, a 1080p webcam, and more. And gamers will be able to stream gaming from their PCs, game consoles, or from a cloud service such as the Xbox Game Pass, thanks to the low-latency WiFi 6E for home streaming and 5G mmWave for high-speed connectivity.
There is also a USB-C port that supports 4K output to a TV, power AR or VR devices, and more. Right now, the Snapdragon G3x Handheld Development Kit is not for sale for consumers so you will need to wait this out. Qualcomm sent the dev kits to game developers so they can create and optimize content for dedicated gaming handhelds before they bring OEMs to build their own versions. It’s similar to what Valve is doing when they announced the Steam Deck handheld gaming PC.