Qualcomm is developing its own Nintendo Switch alternative running Android

Nintendo Switch Joycons
Nintendo Switch Joycons (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Reports point to Qualcomm working on its own Android-powered gaming console.
  • The console would feature a Nintendo Switch-like setup with detachable controllers.
  • It will likely run Android 12 and launch in Q1 2022.

Android smartphones are becoming increasingly powerful, with many of the best phones for gamers rivaling even some laptops. The ASUS ROG Phone 5 tops out at an impressive 18GB, which is more than twice the RAM found on the machine used to type this up. With phones this powerful, it's no surprise that Qualcomm has reportedly begun developing its own Android-powered portable gaming console modeled after the Nintendo Switch.

Android Police got the exclusive on the upcoming console, which is said to resemble a thicker, bulkier smartphone to provide better airflow and allow the processor to run at higher clock speeds. The device will come with detachable controllers on either side à la Nintendo Switch, which will be built by a "premium supplier." It will also sport a 6,000mAh battery with Quick Charging capabilities.

The console will also support TV-out like the Nintendo Switch, although it's unsure by what method. It is said to come with a full suite of connectivity options, which includes 5G to help with Qualcomm's plans to sell the device through carriers. The console is being targeted to launch in Q1 2022, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Android 12 is planned as the OS to power the console. Early versions of the Android 12 Developer Preview have indicated that Google is going all-in on haptics, particularly for gaming, so Qualcomm could be looking to take advantage of this.

An interesting tidbit is that Qualcomm intends to feature its own gaming portal as well as the Epic Games Store, which is still without an official Android app. Also interesting is the targeted price-point, which is around $300, putting it head-to-head with the Nintendo Switch. There's no word on the chipset powering the console, and Android Police could not obtain any photos. Still, if it's anything like the Alienware Concept UFO, then we could be in for some interesting new form factors in the Android space.

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Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.