The next must-have handheld gaming machine could be coming courtesy of gaming laptop and peripherals giant Razer, in the form of the Razer Edge 5G.
Dubbed the “world's first 5G mobile gaming handheld” by George Koroneos, a PR manager for Verizon which worked on the Edge 5G in partnership with Razer, Koroneos posted a trailer for the upcoming console that gives me the impression of a device that’s the love-child of a Nintendo Switch OLED and Valve Steam Deck.
And I’m oddly hyped.
BREAKING: @Verizon, @Razer and @Qualcomm are teaming up on the world's first 5G mobile gaming handheld—Razer Edge 5G! It will allow you to play your favorite games regardless of whether you are gaming in the cloud, on an app or streaming from your console. https://t.co/TYPw5xFyeF pic.twitter.com/F9Vg3CfABlSeptember 28, 2022
While Razer is due to show off the Edge 5G at RazerCon 2022 on October 15, Verizon’s news center has an early breakdown of the console. It notes that the Edge 5G will make use of a Qualcomm Snapdragon G3X Gen 1 Gaming Platform chipset that's able to tap into fast 5G mmWave networks, as well as Verizon’s C-Band and 4G LTE networks, with the scope to intelligently switch between them using the Qualcomm 5G Fixed Wireless Access Platform.
If this device sounds familiar, it’s because it appears to have drawn inspiration from the Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x gaming device, which was shown off last year as a developer-only kit made in collaboration with Razer to get software makers building on the Snapdragon gaming platform. This device never made it to market, but it featured a 6.65-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, giving us an idea of what to expect from the Edge 5G.
Built around Android, the Razer Edge 5G will likely be able to run even the most demanding Android games with ease, but its focus will be on cloud gaming. Given an Xbox logo flashed up at the end of the teaser, I’d posit that Razer is pretty much going for a form of Xbox Game Pass machine for gaming on the go, thanks to the integrated Xbox Cloud Gaming service.
Effectively, we could be getting a form of portable Xbox, thanks to the power of cloud streaming and Microsoft's idea of playing Xbox games anywhere.
Now you may be rolling your eyes wondering why the heck you would need a 5G gaming machine when, if you have one of the best 5G phones and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you can stream triple-A games like Halo Infinite to your phone with the simple addition of pairing a Bluetooth controller.
Well, my answer would be a dedicated game streaming console offers a lot more. Not only would you avoid the need to dig out a separate controller and some form of phone mount, but a console targeted directly at game streaming with hardware optimized for the job is likely to give you a smoother experience than a smartphone that's designed for a myriad of tasks. Even with game modes activated in phones like the OnePlus 10 Pro, they are far from infallible.
Plus, 5G game streaming can gobble up battery life and make for a rather hot phone. So a handheld with dedicated cooling and a bigger battery is the panacea to this problem.
In short, I’m keen to hear more about the Razer Edge 5G. And knowing Razer’s approach to hardware quality control, we could be looking at a rather nice device indeed. But we’ll have to wait just over two weeks before we get a proper look at the Razer Edge 5G.
In the meantime, check out our list of the best gaming phones and best handheld gaming consoles you can buy right now.