It’s worth reading his full hands-on experience if you haven’t already, but here’s the main takeaway: Qualcomm wants Android to sit right alongside products like the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck, offering high-quality experiences right in the palm of your hand. And with cloud gaming better than ever these days, streaming Halo Infinite or Final Fantasy XIV to a dedicated portable device might not be too far off on the horizon.
Detail, lighting, and ambient effects on Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier looked great, and Air Derby 2 (an in-house game developed by Qualcomm for the demo) was sharp and clear. These are all mobile games, of course, but they were running at nice, high-quality settings and looked a whole lot prettier than the visuals my Switch can spit. Controls were responsive, too, without the sort of lag you sometimes feel from things like bad Bluetooth controllers.
Of course, whether a market exists for this sort of gadget is another question entirely. Mobile gaming doesn’t have the best reputation these days, even if there are plenty of quality titles available on the Play Store. Meanwhile, add-ons like the Stadia Claw or Razer’s own Kishi dock make it easy to transform the phone you already bought into a gaming machine. And, of course, there’s the aforementioned Switch and Steam Deck. One’s an established giant in the world of video games coming up on its fifth anniversary, while the other’s a newcomer built on the biggest name in PC gaming. Going up against either of these products will be a challenge for anyone. Hell, there are a few Android gaming machines floating around in the market right now, and none of them have lit up the sales charts so far.
So, has Qualcomm done enough to convince you about the future of playing games on the go? Maybe you’re satisfied with your phone’s already-existing experience — or perhaps the Switch and Steam Deck are enough for you. Whatever your thoughts, let us know in the poll below.