Qualcomm Enters the Mobile Gaming Space

Qualcomm revealed its new flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset for smartphones and the G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform, in partnership with Razer. While the announcement of a dedicated mobile gaming device is generating the most buzz, the former could ultimately shake up the gaming space even more.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
The usual promised gains in performance and power efficiency — battery life tends to be the bottleneck for mobile gaming — are significant. But it’s Qualcomm’s addition of AI supersampling — think of a less powerful version of Nvidia DLSS, which offers a shortcut to 4K — could be a gamechanger. Improved dev tools should also make mobile titles more appealing for studios.

G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform
The device that Qualcomm created with Razer is a development kit and not available for purchase. It could, however, open the door to Razer or other manufacturers producing a similar device. The mobile game console could offer performance rivaling the Nintendo Switch, but likely still a step behind Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck.

  • 5G connectivity
  • HDR-capable 1080p, 120Hz OLED display easily beats out displays for the Switch and Deck
  • Xbox Game Pass and other game streaming services
  • 1080p webcam
The target market for a potential consumer variant is clear: dedicated gamers who want the convenience of playing games via streaming. It’s a growing market, but the device is unlikely to replace traditional gaming hardware sales anytime soon. It has far more in common with tablets and phones rather than consoles and gaming PCs.
  • 5G could make game streaming truly portable and distinguish it from the Switch and Deck
  • Its hardware could be easier to source than dedicated gaming GPUs
    • Qualcomm’s larger market share could mean foundries give it priority
  • Much of the console’s success would rest on how much support it has from game studios and software/app devs