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Razer Edge 5G: Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch just got new competition, but where's Sony?

The Razer Edge 5G is a handheld with the highest possible gaming power offered by Qualcomm, which is sure to compete with the Steam Deck. But it also raises a legitimate question: where the heck is Sony?

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Vits59d ago

"which is sure to compete with the Steam Deck"

Is it? Like it's going to be a powerful handheld, no question about it. But it's also going to be severely limited by Android for Gaming. As far as native games are concerned, there are very few titles that it will share with the Steam Deck. And if you go with streaming to bypass that limitation, the question then becomes why bother with this device if any 5G phone with a controller will be able to do the same for much less?

As for why Sony doesn't develop a new portable. The way I see it they either create a similar device to the PS Vita using an Arm solution. But that would create an issue with games as they would need to create stuff specifically for it. Or they could try to create a downscaled version of the PS5 hardware but that would probably end up in a fairly expensive and therefore niche hardware.

Zeref58d ago (Edited 58d ago )

Gaming on your phone means you can't use your phone for anything else. I'd rather have a dedicated device.

For the right price and specs I might pick one up.

The one from logitech is too expensive(350) for the specs that you get. It doesn't even have OLED. Something the Switch even manages to do at a decent price.

Vits58d ago

It really doesn't. There is no law that dictates that you can't have two phones. And you can get a reasonable powerful one for dirty cheap if know where to look.

And it's really unlikely to have a good price, it's using the over-engineered throttling monster that is the SD 8 Gen 1, it is being manufactured by one of the most overrated "gaming" companies out there in partnership with probably the greedier carrier around.

The Logitech is expensive for its purpose which is being a streaming handheld. But that is the exact same issue that this Razer will have. Android simply doesn't have that many games that take advantage of the hardware. Hell, the only title that comes to mind to justify this SoC doesn't even support native controllers (Genshin Impact).

andy8558d ago

@Vits why though? Phone gaming is awful and on a touchscreen is even worse. Sure you can hook a controller up but it doesn't exactly feel the same. You may as well just game on a screen if you do that as it defeats the purpose of handheld.

Vits58d ago

@andy85

Because that is exactly what this Razer device is. It is using the exactly same internal hardware as a phone and runs the exactly same software as a phone. The only difference is that it has glued controllers. So if you already going to have to deal with the exact same issues, just save a buck and get a Phone with a controller instead.

Bobertt58d ago (Edited 58d ago )

Plus i don't think there is a need or space for it. One of the reasons the Vita sold well was because it was a powerful handheld for the time that could be easily hacked to emulate games but the Steam Deck is a portable PC so you can already emulate games like on PC.

Then there would be the price point. The Steam Deck is $400-$650 and the Switch is $200-$350. The Switch's selling points are oblivious parents associating Nintendo for kids so they buy it for them and ignore other brands, the exclusives, and it's the cheapest. Sony won't be able to sway the oblivious parents. most of Sony exclusives end up on PC now anyway so the Steam Deck covers that, and it will be hard to make a more competitive handheld that is cheaper than the Switch.

The Steam Deck is more expensive but offers a lot more games and the power you would expect for the higher tier. Sony might be able to undercut them in price to performance but they can't compete with them on the number of games that will be available. The Steam Deck is essentially the Vita 2 but with a lot more PC games so why waste time trying to make a product that has no place when they can just make more first party games that will make their way to PC and the Steam Deck. They make more money off software than hardware anyway.

cluclap58d ago

Dude the vita did NOT sell well at all. Internet wasn't as capable and wide spread as it was today so nobody was really hacking the thing for emulation in the first few years. I bought one and I liked it, but there just wasn't enough support. I literally was the only I knew with one, vs the PSP when I bought one so did like 6 of my friends

Vits58d ago (Edited 58d ago )

The Vita didn't sell well though. Hence why Sony completely abandoned it. Being easily hacked only started later and is the main reason why these days it's a darling for many, myself included.

Citation needed for this "oblivious parents" narrative. Where were they when the Wii U was a thing?
And it's really not difficult to make a competitive handheld that is cheaper than the Switch, the amount of off-the-shelf parts available is ridiculous at this point. The issue is reaching parity with their own home console in terms of the library as it would require a dedicated team of developers to create titles for this new hardware. An issue that Nintendo does not have as their handheld and home consoles are one and the same.

That point is not an issue on home consoles, so I fail to see why it would be on portables. Sony or any other console manufacturer is always behind PC in terms of the largest library available because of the very nature of these devices. And calling the Steam Deck a Vita 2 doesn't make any sense, if anything it's the antitheses of that handheld. Sony created the PS Vita as a walled garden, it was a system that even required proprietary memory cards to function well, required games to be developed exclusively for it and needed Sony infrastructure to use features like multiplayer and chat. Meanwhile, the Steam Deck was created with the exact opposite mentality, being so open that you can literally not use Valve services and store at all if you so choose to do.

I do agree that there isn't a monetary incentive for Sony to create a new handheld. Especially now that they are already spread into too many segments with their main console, PC ports, Cloud and VR.

cluclap58d ago

You can actually install windows on an Android device now. Like seriously and gaming performance isn't bad

Vits58d ago

You can install windows on some supported ARM SoCs and there are ARM SoCs developed specifically for Windows. The Microsoft SQ2 as well as the SD 8cx gen 3 likely being the most powerful ones. However, the SD 8 Gen 1 is to my knowledge not part of that list.

And even if it was, you would need to have root access to install this version of Windows on your device and that is really unlikely to be provided as Verizon is a partner in this particular device and is in their best interest to keep the users stuck with their provided Android Image.

As for performance, as long as you keep yourself to simpler indies and older games it can get you by - assuming the game boot in the first place. However, the moment that you try to play something a bit more demanding, let's say a GTAV from 2015 you will run into issues. Even something like the almost $2k ThinkPad X13s can't give you what most would call a good gaming performance. So right now gaming on Windows on Arm is a nice novelty at best.

jznrpg58d ago

I’d rather they not go Arm . They need to use architecture similar to PS4/5 . Make a similar to PS4 power and architecture wise handheld that you can play PS5 remotely. That is what I want . Instant library and they know how to program for it .

Vits58d ago

I do agree with that. There are losses in the sense of battery life and size, but if Sony really wanted they could very well work with AMD to create a custom APU for that proposal. The issue, however, would be price and how that would shape the potential market for that device. Especially now that we have the Steam Deck for $400 and a bunch of other brands trying their hand at creating handheld computers with the wildest specs and prices.

Zeref58d ago (Edited 58d ago )

Nah, the logitech is too expensive for its specs..
With that chip, you can't even run Genshin Impact properly on it.

Getting a 2nd phone with decent specs and a controller will cost as much as one of these devices or more lol

If this Razer comes out with bleeding edge specs at 400. I'd say it's fair.

Streaming devices do have their advantages.

The Steamdeck can't play Android games. And if you're playing AAA games on it. You're only gonna get 2 hours of battery life.
Which makes the device pretty much useless if you wanna take it outside your house.
The OS is also pretty buggy and slow compared to an android device.

Vits58d ago (Edited 58d ago )

Yeah, hence why they are not selling it as a native gaming machine. It's not its objective to run anything natively. It's still too expensive for that either way.

An SD 865 or 870 is more than enough to run what Android has to offer natively. And you can find those devices for pretty cheap. Get a discontinued LG for example it can be had for less than $200 add a $100 controller and you are still likely paying half the price of what this device is going to cost.

Just look at the prices of current devices with an SD Gen 1, even the Chinese brands that subsidize a huge portion of their costs with advertisements don't offer them for much less than $500. Hoping that Razer of all brands will offer a dedicated machine with the same hardware + controllers for $400 is an extremely high level of hopium.

The only advantage that a streaming-focused device can have is being cheap. If someone made a Dimensity 810 device for less than $150 then it would be a compelling buy for streaming only. But paying a premium for the most powerful Qualcomm consumer SoC to use it for streaming, it's just sad.

Honestly, I fail to see why would anyone even bother with trying to play Android games on anything other than a phone. With very few exceptions, half of them being ports of older consoles and PC titles, there is barely anything that is worth on that platform and if you also want to play with an actual controller that list goes down even further. But if you really want to play a particular Android game, just get use an emulator.

And that is 2 hours more than you can actually get on an Android machine. Because it can run those games at all. Or are you honestly going to pay for a 5G connection only to try to stream that on a cellphone connection? Hell, even if you can play like that for more than 2 hours would you actually want it? Between the cost, the impractically and the latency I doubt many would bother.

The OS offer much more customization than what Android has in most of its implementations. And you don't even have to use it. Put whatever Linux flavour you want on it or if you don't like Linux, just use Windows, even with the less than mature drivers it is highly usable.

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GoodGuy0959d ago (Edited 59d ago )

The razor device is an android phone with buttons attached pretty much lol. It'll be meant for emulation and cloud gaming and as far as I'm aware, not many mobile games even support or need gamepads. I guess pubg, codm, and fortnite? But there aren't pc games native so...it can't compete against the deck and definitely not the switch lol. Phones also have terrible heating with visually appealing games. This'll just be more for mobile and cloud fans.

Mcsft may in the future make a cloud game pass handheld. As for sony...their abuse with the vita should never be repeated again and they have a hard enough time making games for their main home console. Nintendo does what they do best, handhelds.

ABizzel159d ago

Where is Sony?

Focusing on their gaming brand that actually matters and letting the handheld / mobile PC war fight itself. Investment in that market right now simply isn't worth it for them or most of these manufacturers, and the unfortunate truth is many of these devices will come as go as these nearly 10 companies fight over the same processors / performance range, and ultimately live or die by price / brand / marketing.

There are limited hardware options out there, It's either:
An AMD mobile 5nm APU and take a huge loss on hardware or have a high price
An inferior Intel iGPU (basically their APU) and still have a high price.
An NVIDIA Tegra processors and fight a battle with Nintendo on processor buying
Or go ARM which is more tailored to Android / mobile gaming, and end up having to reprogram all of your console games + get the majority of 3rd party developers to update their game engines and add better support for ARM.

Secondly, the cost of making these devices boils down to 3 tiers. Sell at $400 for a loss if you want higher-end performance (aka AMD / Intel / best of Tegra / best of ARM), sell at cost of $600 or more and have a very niche and limited audience. Not to mention Sony would once again be splitting their developer teams between handheld and PS5 in order to make worthwhile experiences/exclusives for both which inevitably results in inferior support for one of the platforms and in Sony's case it will ALWAYS be the handheld. Even Nintendo struggled with this, and in case it was usually a lack of home console support in favor of handheld.

The only thing that makes sense in the climate to make is a 5G PSTablet with DualSense support and the PS App.

zeuanimals58d ago

I don't think people want to lug around a controller and a tablet.

ABizzel157d ago

That wasn't the point. The point was as far as business goes adding the PS brand and PS OS to a Sony built Premium Android tablet would be a much better business venture, as it would be one of the few Android tablets people would want to buy by the millions and would be okay with. People would get more use out of that tablet added to their phone carrier, than making a $400 minimum PS handheld that plays PS4 games (sometimes better than base PS4) and inferior versions of their PS5 games on the go. It always sounds good in theory, but in practice, it hasn't worked.

Your phone can literally remote play your PS4 and PS5 library, and I'd be willing to bet 90% of the people wanting a PS handheld rarely if ever use Remote Play, and even less have bought a Backbone controller. That's the PS Handheld test right there. If Backbone was selling tens of millions Sony might consider it.

People want Sony to invest hundreds of millions if not billions into R&D to produce a handheld, that they will have to sell at a loss to be competitive, that they would need developers make PS handheld ports while currently complaining about developers still support last-gen (make it make sense), that has to compete with Steam Deck pricing, all the Windows handheld PCs which have huge Day 1 libraries + emulation, ARM handhelds (less of an issue IMO), and Nintendo dropping their console support to go full handheld/hybrid, when their last effort in the premium handheld realm ended up DoA in all markets except JP, only for maybe 10m - 20m people to buy it. That's business suicide.

Stanjara58d ago

Sony wants to sell you software, so making a device that costs them a lot of money in research 'n development + marketing, only to attract jailbreak audience for emulation.

Oh and the whole Vita/PSP store shutdown fiasco only confirms they have no interest in this market.

That is a good thing.

MadLad58d ago (Edited 58d ago )

Sony were deep into the handheld space until they were being outdone by the 3DS and just gave up.

ABizzel157d ago

They were deep into it at all. They found success with the PSP, but their continued push for performance (which was the PSP's selling point over the DS), ended up placing the Vita in a price tier people weren't willing to pay at the time on top of expensive memory. The software drought came after sales just weren't taking off. Vita still did well in JP where support was there, but the western audience didn't get the games they wanted and often had inferior quality PS3 games as the market wasn't quite there with mobile performance at the time.

XxINFERNUSxX59d ago

I'll wait until ETA Prime gets it in his hands. Curious to see how it is.

VersusDMC59d ago

Sony chose to concentrate on the VR route after the Vita failed. As a secondary market with the PS5 being the priority. They can't afford to spread themselves too thin.

And they realize that the switch's success isn't a rise in popularity for handhelds but a continuation of the success of all ages Nintendo handhelds. So why gamble again?

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