Chipmakers don’t have a solid track record of selling hardware directly to consumers. That doesn’t stop Qualcomm with a report today outlining plans to create a Nintendo Switch running Android.
According to Android Police, Qualcomm takes a Snapdragon chip and puts it in an Android game console with detachable controllers and the ability to connect to TVs.
The core of the device is said to resemble a “thicker, bulkier smartphone” which allows greater thermal headroom to improve the performance of the unspecified chip. Today’s report speculates that it “will feature the next generation of Snapdragon silicon” given the expected first quarter 2022 release date. It could be announced at the end of this year alongside the successor to the Snapdragon 888. .
It will be paired with a 6,000mAh battery that unsurprisingly harnesses fast charging, as well as 5G (X55) – with cloud gaming often being touted as being enabled by cellular technology. Other known specs include an SD card slot, Bluetooth, GPS, dual zone accelerometers and haptics. The controllers would be entrusted to a third party.
This Qualcomm console will run Android 12 with a “custom launcher”. It could be the first non-Pixel device to launch with the new operating system. Besides the Play Store, Qualcomm would like the Epic Games Store to be preinstalled.
The target price is $ 300, but the exact setup or bundle is unclear. Qualcomm is apparently realistic that this device won’t necessarily take off, but hopes it will encourage “partners to explore new form factors as the line between ‘mobile’ and ‘console’ games blurs further. more.”
That said, this Android-powered Nintendo Switch device will be sold direct to consumers, while Qualcomm is keen on carrier availability as well. Nvidia is the only chip vendor to have successfully sold to consumers, but even its Tegra-powered laptop (and later its tablet) failed. The assumed pricing isn’t unreasonable, but ultimately depends on what content will be available.
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