Qualcomm Launches Snapdragon G3x Gen 1, Joins Forces With Razer on Handheld Console

Just a day removed from announcing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, American chip manufacturer Qualcomm today unveiled the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1, a new gaming chipset designed for handheld consoles. And to showcase the chipset’s capabilities, Qualcomm joined forces with Razer to develop a new handheld console.

Credit: Qualcomm

The Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit, as it’s currently called, features a 6.65-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 10-bit HDR support, 5G mmWave and Wi-Fi 6E network connectivity, a 6,000mAh battery, a 5MP front-facing camera and a USB-C port for XR accessories.

By the looks of it, the console’s design takes cues from both the Nintendo Switch and Valve’s now-delayed Steam Deck. It looks a bit wider than the Switch, but it follows the same layout for the buttons, with the directional pad on the left and the face buttons on the right, along with joysticks on either side and the bumper and trigger buttons on the back.

Credit: Qualcomm

The G3x chipset allows the handheld to play Android games as well as stream console and PC games. It’s said to be capable of running games at up to 144 frames per second. Additionally, the low latency connectivity options let gamers enjoy lag-free cloud gaming from services like Xbox Cloud Gaming or Steam Remote Play.

Other features include Snapdragon Sound, a proprietary platform for enhancing audio, AKSys support for remapping touch controls on the controller and the ability to connect the console to a 4K display via USB-C.

Credit: Qualcomm

"Razer is extremely excited to partner with Qualcomm Technologies and support them on their way to introduce new cutting-edge technology to the global gaming industry," said Min-Liang Tan, Razer Co-Founder and CEO.

"Together, Qualcomm Technologies and Razer will lead the way with new and innovative solutions that push the boundaries of fidelity and quality available in portable gaming, transforming the way these games are experienced."

Qualcomm and Razer said that, as of right now, the handheld console is only available for developers with no word yet on when the public can also get their hands on it.

If it does eventually come out, it'll likely be in direct competition with the aforementioned Steam Deck, a Linux-based handheld PC powered by an AMD APU. The Steam Deck is expected to release sometime next year. The likes of Lenovo and Alienware have also shown interest in entering the handheld gaming space, having previously shown prototypes of their own. Whether those will eventually find their way into the market remains to be seen.