Razer Reveals Edge Handheld | Turtle Beach Adds Atom to Mobile Gaming Lineup | Nvidia Pulls RTX 4080 12GB After Backlash
Razer, Qualcomm Reveal Edge Handheld Cloud gaming console starts at $399, with additional Verizon 5G option
Razer announced its Edge cloud gaming console in partnership with Qualcomm and Verizon at RazerCon 2022. The Edge is counting on hardcore gamer appeal to stand out in an increasingly crowded mobile gaming market when it launches in January.
For “Real” Gamers
Razer is heavily leaning into its gamer street cred, marketing the Edge as the “world’s first dedicated 5G handheld console” and “for gamers, by gamers.”
- Edge is a tablet paired with Razer’s Kishi V2 Pro detachable gamepad
- Integration with Razer’s Nexus app
- Base model: $399
- Founders Edition: $499 (includes $129 Razer Hammerhead earbuds)
- Razer Edge 5G: Undisclosed price, but $549- $599 seems likely
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1
- Storage: 128GB, up to 2TB microSD
- Display: 6.8-inch AMOLED 144Hz touchscreen
- Camera: 5MP, 1080p 60fps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, headphone jack
The Edge will not only be competing with other mobile gaming consoles, but smartphones, tablets, and even notebooks.
- Logitech G Cloud: At $349, Logitech & Tencent’s baby is less capable but has superior battery life.
- Steam Deck: Starting at $399, Valve’s handheld has a significantly smaller screen and worse battery life, but packs the capabilities of a gaming PC.
- Nintendo Switch: Its Lite variant starts at $199, with the console’s main advantage being Nintendo’s unique game exclusives.
- Phones & Tablets: For around $100, you can buy a controller from a company like Backbone and get close to the same gaming experience on a more useful device.
Qualcomm and Razer first teased the Edge almost a year ago, as a concept prototype without detachable controllers and a worse display. These changes and Razer’s muddled marketing raise a few questions.
- The screen upgrade is good, but is the use of the Razer Kishi ultimately what Razer wanted, or simply what was economically feasible to produce for a January (notice Razer picked a month, not a date) launch?
- Razer’s choice to recycle the Edge name is questionable at best
- The original Razer Edge was a $999-1,499 Windows tablet that launched in 2013 and promptly flopped
- While understandable to market the Edge as a “tablet,” it simply isn’t one in 2022
- Flagship smartphones have similarly sized displays
The Edge’s best-in-class display, camera, and detachable controllers are compelling and unique features for a handheld. But a higher refresh display and camera will negatively impact battery life and cost. Ultimately, Razer (and Logitech) will have to compellingly answer this question: Why should gamers buy a Razer Edge for $399 when they can spend $99 on a Kishi V2 to slap it on to their existing smartphone?
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Turtle Beach Adds Atom to Mobile Lineup Atom controller is brand’s first crack at phones
Longtime audio peripheral manufacturer Turtle Beach is continuing its expansion into mobile gaming with the Atom. The $99 detachable controller ships November 14.
Turtle Beach opted for an entirely wireless design, unlike plug-in designs from Razer and Backbone.
- "20-hour battery that takes just 2.5 hours" to recharge
- "Full-size" console-like controls
- Free 1-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate & Xbox Cloud Gaming
- No iOS integration
The Turtle Beach Atom will be going up against more established competition like Backbone and Razer. Between everyone selling their wares for the same $99 price and the glut of third-party controllers – whether from established brands or knock-offs, or even traditional wired gamepads – it’s going to be difficult for the Atom to stand out. Not being able to tap into as large a market segment as Apple users is a major handicap, too.
Nvidia Pulls RTX 4080 12GB After Backlash It’s the right decision, but who will clean up the mess?
Sorry, But Not Sorry
For background, Nvidia immediately faced backlash after it announced the RTX 4080 12GB as an -80 level card despite its major differences from the RTX 4080 16GB. To many, it looked like an attempt to pass off an RTX 4070-like video card as a more capable – and more expensive – product.
To say that Nvidia’s announcement was brief is an understatement. “Having two GPUs with the 4080 designation is confusing. So, we’re pressing the “unlaunch” button on the 4080 12GB.” No additional details – such as the minor point of what will happen to the card – were included.
We do applaud Nvidia’s admission that this product was a bridge too far for – even for the company that unapologetically reaped record profits during pandemic shortages at the expense of gamers. It’s not often you see something resembling pro-customer sentiments in a discrete GPU market with only two options (two-and-a-half if we include Intel alongside Nvidia and AMD).
Nvidia’s decision leaves its partners and itself in logistical and strategic predicament.
Nvidia is reportedly offering to partly subsidize the costs of destroying and replacing existing packages. But that won’t be enough.
- AIB partners work on tight margins and many were counting on a Q4 launch windfall
- Products that have already been packaged have to be rebranded, perhaps redesigned, and marketing and packaging redone
- It's a tense time for Nvidia's relationship with AIBs
- Longtime exclusive Nvidia-partner EVGA recently called it quits, claiming disrespectful treatment
The company has some unenviable decisions to make, all with noticeable downsides.
- The RTX 4080 12GB will presumably become an RTX 4070, perhaps 4070 Super or Ti
- Pricing (and profits) will have to be adjusted down
- It’s too late to physically alter performance, but Nvidia might be tempted to limit performance through software
- This would be a PR disaster
- Will Nvidia have to delay launches further down the product stack?
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Supply Drop: Games & Players
Upcoming Games (October 21 - 27)
Gotham Knights - PC, PlayStation, Xbox
Gunfire Reborn - Xbox
Horse Club Adventures 2 - Hazelwood Stories - PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch
Moonshine Inc. - PC
Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord - PlayStation, Xbox
New Tales from the Borderlands - PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch
Persona 5 Royale - PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch
Sackboy: A Big Adventure - PC
Saturnalia - PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch
Star Ocean The Divine Force - PC, PlayStation, Xbox
Victoria 3 - PC
Editor's Most Anticipated: Gotham Knights is an open world third-person action adventure game set in the DC universe of Batman and releasing October 21. While featuring mechanics and characters from the immensely popular Batman: Arkham franchise, this new title from developer WB Games Montreal is said to be an independent, separate story from the series (despite the ending of the most recent title setting up the main premise for Batman's absence in Gotham Knights).
Batman: Arkham Video Games
- Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
- Batman: Arkham City (2011)
- Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)
- Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
In Gotham Knights, players will take on the roles of Batgirl, Robin (new Robin), Nightwing (old Robin), and Red Hood (also Old Robin), all working to protect the city in the wake of Batman's disappearance. The game features a drop-in/drop-out co-op mode where two players can take on the main campaign, while a 4-player arena-like mode will be introduced in November.
The original Batman: Arkham game introduced an amazing "counter" mechanic to platform fighting games that was expanded upon in the sequel and truly made players feel like Batman, capable of taking on multiple armed assailants with skill and precision. If this spiritual successor can capture even a fragment of that magic, and combine it with some comic book storytelling, it will be a welcome addition to the Batman legacy.
Comms: Social Campaigns
The Tap: News to Go
- Game Streaming: Netflix confirmed during its most recent quarterly financials that it has plans to expand into cloud gaming (via The Verge). It is also doubling down on mobile games, with 55 titles currently in development and the announcement of a fifth game studio.
- Industry: Global gaming revenue is forecast to grow by over 50% in the next five years, with the three major trends being better technology, the metaverse, and novel monetization models, according to a report from Bain & Company.
- Industry: Microsoft announced it is laying off more than 1,000 employees in preparation for a potential recession (via The Washington Post). Intel is also reported to be considering a reduction in headcount.
- GPU: Gigabyte is preparing entry-level video cards for Intel’s Arc series (via VideoCardz). Signing on one of the big three GPU manufacturers is a welcome development for Intel after teething launch issues.
- Peripherals: Playstation confirmed a January 26 date and $199 launch price (as we predicted) for its DualSense Edge PS5 controller. Sony’s first crack at a “pro” controller is available for pre-order October 25.
- Television: Comcast announced that it is canceling its revival of 2000’s gaming TV channel G4 (via Deadline). Despite the return of popular hosts, it was unable to gain traction in a streaming-dominated landscape as the gaming market slowed.