Mobile chip giant Qualcomm just held its own PR event, “Snapdragon Tech Summit,” where it unveiled the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen1 platform, featuring the most advanced 8-series mobile 5G platform, brand new imaging technology and seventh-generation AI. Qualcomm also unveiled a special product – the first-generation Snapdragon G3x gaming platform (hereafter referred to as Snapdragon G3x), which interests me more.
According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon G3x offers advanced performance and full Snapdragon Elite Gaming technology, which supports all Android games and various cloud gaming content and provides streaming technology for game consoles or PCs. To demonstrate the special power of the Snapdragon G3x to developers, Qualcomm has also collaborated with Razer to create the first handheld gaming development kit based on this platform. Sadly, the device will not be available for purchase from normal users like you or me.
Features supported by the Snapdragon G3x include Qualcomm Adreno GPU, which enables a smooth 144 FPS gaming experience with more than 1 billion colors in 10-bit HDR, and Qualcomm FastConnect 6900, which supports Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, 5G mm-Wave, and sub-6GHz. In addition, you can connect the XR (extended reality) device via USB Type-C, use the VR device as another screen, and support 4K displays, and open multi-screens to enhance the experience.
Qualcomm has launched the first-generation Snapdragon Elite Gaming engine, based on the Snapdragon 855, since 2019 and started to systematically optimize it. Today, Snapdragon 8 Gen1 is already the fourth generation. Elite Gaming’s mission is to turn mobile devices into powerful gaming machines, which also means Qualcomm has a systematic solution for optimizing mobile gaming, including image quality, sound quality, touch control, and networking. And that, of course, has created a solid foundation for the birth of the Snapdragon G3x.
So why did Qualcomm launch the Snapdragon G3x at this time? According to some industry insiders, first, because the Elite Gaming space has begun to mature and Qualcomm already has a complete software and hardware system with the Adreno GPU and Snapdragon hearing technology that brings the mobile gaming experience closer to the desktop. Secondly, because the mobile gaming market is also gradually maturing and the brisk sales of gaming phones confirm the existence of a group of consumers who are willing to pay for a high-quality mobile gaming experience on the market.
In recent years, Android gaming handhelds have kept appearing on the market, but they have not become a trend. The reason is that they are really not very powerful. Since the smartphone industry has been growing rapidly for many years, the established mobile phone manufacturers do not have time to take care of the “small pie”, and Android handheld manufacturers often struggle to compete with mainstream mobile phone manufacturers in production capacity.
For example, the AYN Odin, which was crowdfunded this summer, used a Snapdragon 845 three years ago, its GPU is Adreno 630, and its floating-point performance is only 0.73Tflops. For comparison, the current gaming phone is equipped with a Snapdragon 888, the GPU is Adreno 660, and the floating-point performance reaches 1.72Tflops, which is already close to the desktop NVIDIA GTX1050.
Apart from the obvious performance difference, Android gaming handhelds do not have the closed ecology of Nintendo and Sony handhelds as competition, so of course, it’s completely impossible to draw the attention of gamers from gaming phones to them. And now the Snapdragon G3x changes that very point. Because as a mobile platform designed specifically for gaming, it also guarantees that Android handheld manufacturers can offer gamers the best mobile gaming experience currently available.
Qualcomm’s intention to launch the Snapdragon G3x this time around could not only target the needs of Android gamers, but also the next generation of Nintendo Switch products. If Qualcomm can impress Nintendo with the Snapdragon G3x’s performance, the company will win a market in the tens of millions and could even use this to expand the Android gaming experience in the future.