According to Android Police and XDA’s editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman, Qualcomm is working on an Android-powered handheld gaming console similar to the Nintendo Switch. The device will be powered by Qualcomm’s silicon and could hit store shelves as early as next year, assuming it becomes a reality.
The device would have detachable Joy-Con-like controllers, an SD card slot, Android 12, and (of course) 5G, according to the post, which cites photos seen by Android Police. A large 6,000mAh battery is also mentioned and confirmed by Rahman.
Although the physical dimensions are unknown, Rahman speculated that the screen maybe 6.65 inches wide and at least 1080p resolution (the Switch’s screen is 6.2 inches wide and runs at 720p). He also hinted at the possibility of a fan.In other words, the device sounds like a large smartphone with attached controllers and active cooling, which may not be a bad thing the Switch kind of looks like a giant phone too. But, it also has a library of fantastic games that only it can play, and this is the most appealing feature.
Although there are plenty of good gaming experiences on Android, including retro emulators to games like Fortnite and Genshin Impact, Qualcomm will have to convince customers to play those games on a separate device rather than on their Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered gaming phones with built-in buttons or controller accessories (or on their regular phones).
Or, at the very least, it would if Qualcomm is attempting to sell the device to people — according to the Android Police article, Qualcomm wants the device to be commercially accessible, likely at carrier retail stores. It also claims that the unit would cost $300, which is the same as a full-sized Switch. The Realme GT 5G, the cheapest phone with Qualcomm’s flagship 888 processor, costs about $430 right now (and is only sold in China).
However, according to Rahman’s source, the product was more similar to a reference design than something that would ever make it to store shelves. Qualcomm and other chip makers also create prototype devices to aid other manufacturers in designing around their SOCs or radios.