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Razer joins the “handheld streaming console” wars, which are now a thing somehow


Fun fact: The divot in the middle of the D-pad can also hold a very small amount of salsa or dip.
Enlarge / Fun fact: The divot in the middle of the D-pad can also hold a very small amount of salsa or dip.


Just one week after Logitech confirmed its Android-based, streaming-focused G CLOUD Gaming Handheld, fellow peripheral maker Razer is getting in on the act. The Razer Edge 5G, announced in conjunction with Verizon at Mobile World Congress today, will play games “downloaded to play locally, streamed from your console or accessed directly from the cloud.”

As the name implies, Verizon and Razer are leaning heavily into their console as “the world’s first 5G mobile gaming handheld,” complete with the ability to stream or download games “over 5G Ultra Wideband.” That should be an upgrade from 10 years ago, when Sony integrated a 3G mobile antenna in some versions of the PlayStation Vita, letting the device serve as a highly questionable cell phone replacement. That version of the system saw a severe price drop just months after launch before it was discontinued later that year, suggesting a lack of excitement for mobile data options in a game console at the time.

Not just a dev kit anymore

The Edge 5G will be based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform, which the chipmaker revealed as a reference design last November. That announcement came alongside a Razer-designed dev kit for the platform, which featured a 6.65-inch OLED, 120 Hz screen, built-in 1080p webcam, and “Snapdragon Sound” four-way speakers (as well as theoretical support for 4K, 144 fps, 10-bit HDR color output via a DisplayPort USB-C connection to an external monitor).

Razer's Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform dev kit, as revealed last November.

Razer’s Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform dev kit, as revealed last November.

At first blush (via a short teaser trailer that includes long lingering shots of the L2 trigger, for some reason), the Razer Edge 5G seems to be a consumer-facing version of that previous Android-based dev kit. The more streamlined design in that teaser brings to mind Razer’s Kishi V2 smartphone controller, only now integrated into its own self-contained hardware rather than sold as a clamp-on phone attachment.

The mobile gaming landscape has changed quite a bit between the G3x reference platform announcement and today’s Razer Edge 5G announcement, thanks to the delayed release of the Steam Deck earlier this year. Valve’s portable device—with its native support for thousands of Steam games—could eat into the demand for these less powerful (and less functional) streaming-focused portable gaming options. For those unsatisfied by the Steam Deck, though, there will be at least two Android-based options to choose from relatively soon.

Razer has promised more details about the Edge 5G will be revealed at its RazerCon promotional event on October. 15. Personally, we can wait.





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