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Monday, September 20, 2021

GPD Is Working on Android-Based Switch-Like Console for Mobile Gamers

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While Nintendo and Steam are aiming to capture the portable gaming market with their Switch OLED and Steam Deck consoles, GPD, a popular company in the portable gaming space, is looking to enter the mobile gaming space soon. The company is working on an Android-based portable gaming console with some unique features, as per reports.

Folks from XDA Developers recently discovered that Shenzhen-based GamePad Digital (GPD) Technology Co. Ltd is currently working on a modular handheld gaming console dubbed the GPD-XP. The device recently showed up on the company’s official Discord channel, and by the looks of it, the GPD-XP looks quite similar to Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck. However, as per the report, it will be an Android-based portable gaming console that will allow users to play high-end mobile games on the go.

GPD-XP – An Android-based Portable Gaming Console

Getting into some details, the GPD-XP will reportedly come with a 6.81-inch display, which surprisingly, has a punch-hole camera cutout at the bottom left corner. So, as you can imagine, the company sourced the display from smartphone display makers.

However, that is not the USP of the console. Being an Android-based device, it comes with a console-style design to play popular mobile games. There is a console-like controller at the left of the device that features an analog stick, a D-Pad, and dedicated buttons for Home, Task Manager, and Back.

GPD Might Launch an Android-Based Modular Handheld Console for Mobile Games

On the right, however, the device comes with support for a modular control system that enables users to magnetically attach a compatible controller. So, users can either attach a standard console-like controller with a second analog stick and the classic ABXY buttons or attach a controller with four face buttons. The latter will be extremely useful for gamers who are into MOBA (Massive Online Battle Arena) games.

Moreover, users can assign the physical buttons of the controllers to particular areas of the screen. This is specifically to cater to touch-based mobile games such as PUBG Mobile (or Battlegrounds Mobile India) and Call Of Duty Mobile.

GPD Might Launch an Android-Based Modular Handheld Console for Mobile Games

Under the hood, the GPD-XP packs an ARM-based mobile processor, presumably the MediaTek Helio G95. It is reportedly paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. Plus, there is microSD card support to further expand internal storage and 4G connectivity. However, it will be solely for internet access as Calls and SMS features will be disabled on the console. Moreover, the GPD-XP does not have built-in microphones to support calls.

Now, the initial images of the GPD-XP come from China. So, as reported by XDA, the device seems to be running a custom build of Android. Nonetheless, the international version of the device will reportedly run Android 11 and come with Google services.

Price and Availability

Coming to the price and availability of GPD-XP, there is no information as of now. As per the images shared by the company, the device looks to be almost ready for launch. So, Nintendo and Steam might have some competition from GPD in the coming days as the companies continue to try to capture the portable gaming space.

However, as the GPD-XP is an Android-based device, the company will target dedicated mobile gamers rather than console gamers with this device, unlike Nintendo and Steam. So, it will be pretty interesting to see how GPD handles the ever-growing mobile gaming sector in the coming days.

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