After getting a look at Sony’s not-actually-a-console PlayStation Portal, we’re rearing for something, anything to wash that taste from our mouths. Fortunately, Qualcomm’s rather silent announcement of an update to the Snapdragon G Series, the company’s flagship line-up of gaming-focused chips targeting handheld consoles and mobile devices, was exactly what the doctor ordered.
The talk of the town
Qualcomm initially announced the G3x Gen 1 back in 2021, which eventually found a home inside the Razer Edge. Now, the American semiconductor manufacturer’s got three new chipsets on the market – the Snapdragon G1 and G2, though it’s the flagship G3x Gen 2 that’s the talk of the town. Qualcomm claims it’ll deliver “over 30% faster CPU performance and a whopping 2x faster GPU performance compared to its predecessor.”
It’s certainly the forerunner of the group here. But speedier processing isn’t all that Qualcomm’s cooked up in the two-year gap. It’s also promising “hardware-accelerated ray tracing, game super resolution, XR glass tethering,” and “low-latency premium Bluetooth.” The included Wi-Fi 7 and mmWave connections make for a monster of an SoC when it comes to cloud gaming sessions. Or any session, really.
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We won’t have to wait much longer to see the G3X Gen 2 in action, either. Shortly after the chipset announcement, Ayaneo – a Chinese brand that focuses solely on handheld consoles – announced the Pocket S, powered by Qualcomm’s flagship processor. It didn’t go into any detail about the console’s specs, with only a few images to hold people over.
Unless you’ve got the cheddar to handle the import fees, South Africa probably won’t be getting a chance to mess around with the Ayaneo Pocket S or the processor inside. That doesn’t mean we won’t ever see it here. The company said it has granted a handful of manufacturers access to a Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 handheld gaming reference design, though it didn’t reveal any names. Be patient. Our time will come.
Qualcomm’s G Series family tree
The chip-maker’s other efforts – the G1 and G2 – are aimed at far less-intensive consoles. G1, specifically, is the company’s entry-level chipset, targeting dedicated fanless streaming devices, with Qualcomm’s 8-core Kyro CPU and Adreno A11 GPU to back it all up. That all equates to a 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate, with the only downside being a Wi-Fi 5 connection.
As for the G2, Qualcomm’s hoping for this to be a sort of middle ground, shoving in the same Kyro CPU but an enhanced Adreno A21 GPU to balance things out. There’s also improved support for 5G and Wi-Fi 6E which, according to Qualcomm, lets players enjoy “premium mobile and cloud gaming titles virtually anywhere, without compromise.”