Razer teases Game Pass Streaming Handheld with 5G

Razer teases Game Pass Streaming Handheld with 5G
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PS Vita 2012 launch event.

Image: Yoshikazu Tsuno (Getty Images)

Razer today unveiled a new 5G gaming hardware developed in partnership with Verizon and Qualcomm. It joins a growing list of Switch-inspired devices taking advantage of these advantages Game Pass and other video game streaming libraries. Because in 2022, everyone is betting on a successor to the PS Vita, which Sony never did. What is dead never dies.

Details about Razer’s handheld are still scarce. Short video suggests it will have a built-in display and dedicated controls, and will fire 5G signals directly over the air with the push of a button. I’m sure the RGB Chroma will be wild. It reminds me of Razer’s existing Kishi controller adapter for smartphones. We should find out more at the RazerCon keynote on October 15th, like if the thing will cost a dumb sum.

The announcement comes just one week after Logitech Launched $350 G Cloud gaming handheld. While the price point was tough considering you could get a Switch OLED for the same amount and the more powerful Steam Deck was only $400, the concept was sound: play mobile games locally and stream blockbusters online. The hardware also looked pretty slick.

And that perfectly describes the PS Vita, Sony innovative but unsuccessful premium gaming handheld. In addition to being the perfect device for indie gaming with a touchscreen for easy mobile ports, the Vita also aimed to deliver blockbuster-lite gaming with first-party exclusives. Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Border 2 somehow ran over him. You can use it to play some PS3 and PS4 games remotely. There was even a 3G model.

A close-up of Razer's 5G gaming device shows RGB lighting.

The Razer gaming device is built around the Snapdragon G3X Gen 1 and 5G Ultra Wideband
Screenshot: Razer / Kotaku

It was a massive flop, until five years later when Nintendo did all of those same things with one important difference: it released the Switch alongside Breath of the Wild. Fast-forward another five years and cloud gaming has evolved enough that it’s handset available even without exclusive hits. Game Pass may not be available Mario gold Zeldabut there is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Halo Infinite, Stardew Valley, and hundreds of other games. No, cloud streaming isn’t perfect, but it works well enough at this point.

I have no idea if Razer’s 5G handset will sell for a reasonable price, but I’m sure it won’t be the last device to try and capitalize on the new mobile gaming goldrush. If people are willing to pay $500 for the non-smartphone Apple WatchI’m sure more than a few people would pay half that for a dedicated cloud gaming device.

It’s a shame that the PS Vita 2 won’t be one of the options. Sony’s handsets have been some of the most beautiful to hold and look at. The Vita may have failed, but it paved the way for the Switch, Steam Deck, and and a half dozen other new gaming machines this has emerged in the last few years. The Vita died so Razer’s 5G handheld could go live. We will soon find out if he is worthy of that generation.

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