Technology

Razer recruits Verizon to help with its 5G gaming handheld

Are we due for a deluge of gaming handhelds? It sure seems that way based on recent news to come down the pipe. During the keynote for Mobile World Congress Las Vegas, Razer and Verizon teased what they are calling the world’s first 5G gaming handheld. The Razer Edge 5G will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon G3X Gen 1 Gaming Platform and run Android, allowing users to download and play titles locally as well as stream from a console or the cloud via 5G Ultra Wideband.

Razer and Qualcomm announced a dev kit for the handheld last December, but there was no mention of Verizon’s involvement at the time. That device looked a lot like a widescreen Sega Game Gear, just with more buttons.

The dev kit shipped with a 6.65-inch OLED display supporting 1080p resolution and up to 120Hz refresh rates. The handheld additionally featured a 5-megapixel front-facing webcam for streaming along with dual microphones, four-way speakers, a 6000mAh battery and support for USB-C, DisplayPort over USB-C, Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E.

Despite the surge in mobile gaming via smartphones, dedicated handhelds have been gaining momentum ever since Nintendo launched the Switch in early 2017. Both the Analogue Pocket and the Playdate from Panic are on backorder, as is Valve’s Steam Deck. Logitech just last week announced a cloud-based handheld called the Cloud that promises up to 12 hours on a single charge.

Potential pricing has not been mentioned but could make or break the system. Logitech’s aforementioned handheld, for example, seems a bit steep at $349 given its streaming focus but the entry-level Steam Deck is much easier to swallow from $399 considering its hardware chops and flexibility.

Razer promises to share more information on the handheld during RazerCon 2022, the company’s digital event for gamers scheduled for October 15. Mobile World Congress Las Vegas, meanwhile, runs through September 30 at the Las Vegas convention center.

What is your mobile gaming strategy? Do you have a handheld? It not, what is the last handheld you owned? I have a Switch Lite that hasn’t seen much action since Nintendo shut down Super Mario Bros. 35. Before that, it was the original Game Boy.