Qualcomm launches chips aimed at mobile gaming

The Snapdragon G series of SoCs is aimed at dedicated handheld gaming devices, with an eye on the growing cloud gaming market.

It consists of three levels of processing punch, depending on how much local power is needed. For devices designed to rely mainly on the cloud, the G1 will probably do, but Qualcomm is hoping to also take business from the likes of Nvidia, which provides the SoC in the Nintendo Switch standalone handheld gaming console, with the flagship G3 chip.

“Dedicated handheld gaming devices are the best way to experience mobile games,” said Mithun Chandrasekhar, Senior Director of Product Management at Qualcomm. But gamers want to be able to play all their favourite games across devices and ecosystems, be it their console, PC, or on a cloud service. The new generation of Snapdragon G Series powered devices will be the best place for gamers to play their favourite titles, offering them the ability to choose from the cloud, console, Android, or PC while on-the-go.”

This launch comes just a day after Sony announced a new handheld gaming device – the PlayStation Portal. It isn’t equivalent to the Switch, however, as it’s essentially a peripheral designed to stream games from a nearby PlayStation 5 console via wifi. Its primary function seems to be to free up a big screen for other uses, which feels like a bit of a niche use case, especially when you consider it will cost 200 quid.

Sony has yet to reveal the specs for the Portal but, especially when you consider the timings of the announcements, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that it uses one of these new Snapdragons. If so it would presumably be the G1, otherwise what’s the point of it?

The cloud gaming market is considered by some to have considerable potential but even tech giant Google was unable to make a success of its dedicated platform. On that evidence, smartphones seems like the smarter bet for the future of proper cloud gaming, as opposed to gaming peripherals.


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