News from Samsung, which is working on its own mobile device GPU, has rekindled rumors of a gaming-centric Samsung phone. None of this is really new, but the timing seems almost perfect. Huawei has just released a "GPU Turbo" update, Apple is also said to have designed its own graphics chip, and gaming smartphones seem to gain ground thanks to Razer and ASUS. But even though it's almost too easy to believe that Samsung could jump on the bandwagon, you also have to calm down and think about the potential outcome. If Samsung manufactures its own gaming phone, it will lose in this market.
What is a gaming smartphone?
What is a gaming smartphone anyway? To be honest, the market has not agreed on a definition that goes beyond an extremely broad "smartphone for games". Razer interpreted that as a 1
But with the exception of bulbs and peripherals, everything a gaming smartphone has or should all have high-end smartphones. Crisp and fast displays, powerful hardware and top management for air conditioning are not just characteristic of gaming devices, at least not smartphones. And that's pretty much what's dubious about the whole Samsung gaming phone idea. There simply is not enough value that would not make sense on a standard Samsung flagship.
Experience but no clout
That's not to say that Samsung can not make a gaming phone. In fact, it definitely has the experience to make it happen. The company has actually tried to play mobile games here and there. For example, there was a Wireless GamePad with a telescope holder for a smartphone. Samsung DeX also supports some games that can be played well with keyboard and mouse, like Vainglory. And of course there's Gear VR, which makes a bit of Oculus VR platform mobile.
Unfortunately, it was not a case of "build it and you will come". Samsung has not made a name for itself in the gaming market, which goes far enough to have the say. Brands like Razer, Acer and ASUS (via ROG) are more successful in the mobile gaming market because their names are already associated with gaming. Samsung would be like the newcomer who wants to steal the limelight in a new and chaotic niche market.
Hardware but no software
Samsung definitely has the mobile hardware to do it. The performance of its flagship Galaxy smartphones are definitely among the best on the market. Its access to silicon through the Exynos processors, memory and memory is a good sign of its future with mobile GPUs. And it already knows how to make gaming accessories as mentioned above. There may be some issues with faster refresh rates on AMOLED screens, but it's only a matter of time before it resolves.
But hardware is only part of the equation. When it comes to software, Samsung also needs to get an advantage. Of course it has utilities like Game Tuner and Game Tools, but these will not be soon enough. We are already seeing a subtle trend of tools and modes that push gaming and multimedia hardware to its limits. Samsung will need more apps and tools to make mobile games more convenient and enjoyable, such as streaming utilities, better game management, and communities. And it has to make game developers use them or, alternatively, make those features available automatically, without developers having to use special APIs. As it stands, Samsung may not have enough impact on the game market for developers to bother.
Promise but no obligation
Samsung also has a problem that is less technical and cultural. Over the years, it has made many promises and lost its teeth in many new and exciting technologies. Only a few remained. Worse still, some were outdated just a year after their launch by a newer, but incompatible version. Samsung does not have a track record of consistency right now.
In part, the mobile market and the gambling market have different business strategies. There is a fast turnover in the smartphone world, with new smartphones appearing every year and outdated every two or more years. Money in the game market is about, well, games and how these games continue to sell consoles and PCs. It requires a kind of long-term commitment that Samsung may not be used to in the mobile world.
Interesting but no advantage
A Samsung gaming smartphone would be so interesting to have a Samsung brand gaming-oriented mobile device, it just does not make much sense, whether from a smartphone perspective, a business Perspective or even a gaming perspective. There is now little that could add Samsung to the equation that it could commit to for years and years, and what new gaming-related mobile technology it has will definitely benefit its main flagship anyway. At a time when there are disappointing sales at these flagship stores, the last thing it takes to have another temporary distraction. It does not necessarily need a gaming phone because, although some disagree, Samsung phones are great for gaming anyway.