The functions of Qualcomm’s CPUs go far beyond just running our favourite Android phones. Some of the best Android portable gaming devices also includes Snapdragon-brand SoCs, and for good reason. Phones that can play games have powerful enough chips.
However, Qualcomm has its sights set on the lucrative gaming portable market, which includes products like the Nintendo Switch and Valve Steam Deck, revitalizing a sector that had all but vanished with the Sony PSP’s demise. At Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, this week, Qualcomm will make three new SoCs specifically for handheld gaming devices available.
The G1, G2, and G3x Gen 2 SoCs make up the family known as the Snapdragon G Series. The G1 allows for lag-free local or cloud game streaming. According to The Verge, this chip was created by the business to withstand prolonged Wi-Fi playtime of more than ten hours. The Verge spoke with Qualcomm’s gaming director, Mithun Chandrasekhar, who revealed that without Verizon subsidies, smartphones featuring the G1 chip should cost less than $200.
The Snapdragon G1 Gen 1 from Qualcomm
The new G2 chip, on the other hand, supports Wi-Fi 6/6E and 5G, making it ideal for mobile and cloud gaming. The first processor with this branding will be the Snapdragon G2 Gen 1. It will have an Adreno A21 GPU designed for mobile gaming, along with an octa-core Kryo CPU.
The Snapdragon G2 Gen 1 from Qualcomm
The G3x Gen 2 is the star of Qualcomm’s new chipset portfolio; it can compete with gaming titans like AMD’s Aerith SoC, which powers the Steam Deck. With the Gen 2, Qualcomm improved the performance of the Kryo octa-core CPU by 30% while keeping the package power draw in the range of 15–18W.
The company has given Gen 2 of the Razer Edge an Adreno A32 GPU that is twice as powerful in response to community criticism for the G3x Gen 1-powered model. With features like ray tracing, it allows for consistent top-tier performance. It comes with support for Wi-Fi 7 and PCIe Gen 4 SSDs that you would use on a PC, making it a complete package for mobile gamers.
However, astute observers may see that these technical specifications are still far below those of the top game systems. The new SoC’s clock speeds could theoretically be increased to crush the competition, but Chandrasekhar told The Verge that doing so would drastically reduce the console’s battery life. Because of this, console-making companies might be interested in the upcoming G3x Gen 2, even if it isn’t currently equipped to handle PC games.
The Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 from Qualcomm
The reference design console booting Android is proof of this. Although it features a 6.8-inch 144Hz OLED display and a new, potent CPU inside, it didn’t blow The Verge away with its gaming performance. This is primarily due to the fact that modern Android games are designed for smartphone SoCs rather than specialised gaming CPUs. Additionally, some demanding games, like PUBG: Mobile, completely disallow the use of external controllers.
However, Qualcomm is aiming outside the gaming ecosystems for Android and Windows. There is currently a queue of console manufacturers waiting to incorporate the new Qualcomm G3x Gen 2 in their hardware, including AyaNeo, Huaqin, Inventec, and Thundercomm. Chandrasekhar reaffirmed Qualcomm’s reliance on these chips to expand outside the gaming phone industry and win over gamers with specialized, cost-effective handhelds.