The Nintendo Switch is an incredibly unique game console. Giving players the ability to enjoy their favorite titles both at home and on-the-go was a genius move on Nintendo’s part. It’s no surprise that the Switch has become one of the best-selling consoles in history.
It was also inevitable, perhaps, that someone would try to replicate that success with a similar portable console. The contender is a surprise, however. According to a report by Android Police, Qualcomm is working on a Switch-like console that’s powered by Android.
If the rumors are true, it would be a strange move for the chipmaker. However, as the mobile gaming space heats up, Qualcomm could simply be looking to cash in after seeing the success of Nintendo’s Switch.
Qualcomm certainly isn’t known for its gadgets. Rather, the company has made a name for itself by designing the chips that power a large percentage of today’s consumer electronics. The company has left the gaming space relatively untapped to this point.
The mysterious console it is reportedly developing could change that. According to Android Police, images have been seen of a device that sports detachable, Joy-Con-like controllers, along with an SD card slot. Unlike the Switch, Qualcomm’s portable console reportedly runs on Android 12 and comes with support for 5G. Those are two noteworthy upgrades that would be attractive to many players.
On top of that, Android Police reports that the device boasts a massive 6,000mAh battery. By comparison, the Switch’s battery is a mere 4,310mAh. That power would be used to run a display with a resolution of at least 1080p. Again, that tops Nintendo’s console, which has a 720p display.
Although the size of Qualcomm’s Switch competitor is unclear, Android Police editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman said on Twitter that it has a 6.65-inch screen.
League of Its Own?
While the gadget that Qualcomm is reportedly working on does bear a striking resemblance to the Nintendo Switch, it lacks one thing. Switch players have access to a wealth of Nintendo titles and franchises that aren’t playable anywhere else. That isn’t the case for Qualcomm’s device.
In all likelihood, it will only support titles that are already playable on mobile gadgets. While the number of games that fit that mold is growing, it isn’t comparable to the Switch’s massive library. That could potentially hinder Qualcomm’s efforts.
Of course, the chipmaker may not be trying to directly compete with Nintendo, despite the rumored device’s similarities to the Switch. Instead, it could be competing with high-end gaming smartphones.
According to Android Police, Qualcomm aims to price the gadget around $300. The cheapest gaming phones that use the company’s Snapdragon 888 processor (which will presumably power the Switch-like device) cost upwards of $400.
So, Qualcomm could have a market for a gaming-specific device if users don’t want to invest in a smartphone and the necessary accessories.
Even so, this gadget remains shrouded in mystery and confusion. There is no guarantee it will ever arrive. However, Qualcomm is reportedly eyeing a 2022 launch date as of right now. It is certainly something to keep an eye on as the popularity of mobile gaming continues to grow.