Rumors of a Nintendo Switch Pro have been gaining momentum recently, with reports coming out of Japan indicating that we could see a new, upgraded Nintendo Switch coming sometime in the next couple of years.
After taking one look at the brand new 'Win 3' handheld games console from Chinese firm GPD, though, many gamers may be forced to forget about Switch Pro altogether, with the system delivering specs and functionality that smokes the current gen of handhelds comprehensively.
The Win 3 console delivers a handheld gaming device with a 5.5-inch 1,280 x 720 display, Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, a 96 EU Iris Xe Graphics G7 GPU (the most powerful iGPU Intel makes), and 16GB of RAM. The operating system is Windows 10.
Combined this leads to modern AAA games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Death Stranding and Devil May Cry 5 running at high settings and at buttery smooth frame rates.
To see the Win 3 portable gaming machine in action simply watch one of the videos below:
- Watch: PS5 gets 5G PlayStation Portable console partner in stunning reveal video
- Nintendo Switch Pro breaks cover with STUNNING multi-cartridge game dock
- Heart-stopping PlayStation XR headset is the ultimate PS5 accessory
Storage is handled by a m.2 2280 PCIe NVMe SSD as well as microSDXC card reader (supports A2 cards with 160MB/s speeds), while the screen is coated with Gorilla Glass 5 for protection on the go.
In terms of ports, the Win 3 includes a Thunderbolt 4 port, as well as a USB 4, USB Type-A, HDMI and 3.5mm audio jack. Cooling is active, too, with an internal fan working in sync with a brace of heat pipes.
There are dedicated gamer-focussed controllers on the Win 3, too, including Analog L2/R2 triggers, dual analogue sticks (press down for L3/R3), a D-Pad as well as X, Y, A, B keys. In addition, there are also two built-in vibration motors for Joy-Con style haptic feedback.
There's also a companion dock for the Win 3, just like the Nintendo Switch, which allows the console to be played while charging and also acts as a kickstand. Naturally, with a HDMI port, the Win 3 can be connected to a larger monitor or TV, too.
As can be seen in the above image, the Win 3 very closely resembles the Nintendo Switch and has roughly the same form factor, too. In terms of the internal hardware spec, it also crushes the Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite comprehensively – this is a true powerhouse handheld.
The fact that the system runs Windows 10, too, means that a vast library of titles already exist that can be played. Take any PC game you like as well as any game service like STEAM or GOG, and simply install and play as if you were getting stuck in on desktop or laptop.
Retro games, modern games, browser-based games, emulators for other consoles – all are accessible with the Win 3.
Just imagine the Win 3 running Cyberpunk 2077... truly mouth-watering. That's Cyberpunk 2077 on the go. Wow! 🤯
The really neat thing about the Win 3, though, is that it is not just a gaming system, with a fully keyboard hidden under its slide-up screen. As such, this is very much a portable computer, too – editing documents, answering emails, watching Netflix and browsing the internet, among much more, is very much enabled.
Yes, the system is geared towards gaming, but thanks to its OS and these hardware features, it is a far more versatile portable system than a straight gaming portable.
Right now the Win 3 is in its final production stage before the console is launched on Indiegogo in January 2021, with two models made available, both of which will be delivered to purchasers in April and May next year. The entry level version of the console will come with a Core i5 CPU and come in a silver colorway, while the top-spec model with be available in black and will ship with a Core i7 CPU.
Here at T3 we're really enthused by the emergence of the Win 3 as it shows just what is possible in terms of handheld gaming consoles and seems to fill the gap in competition we're currently seeing against the Switch (there's still no PSP 5G successor to the PS Vita from Sony, and Microsoft just aren't interested).
Look, we love the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite here at T3, but there is no doubting that when it comes round to the hardcore gaming enthusiast market, both the Big N's handhelds come up short – they just don't have the technical power or access to many of today's best mature titles.
From what we've seen so far, the Win 3 fixes that, providing an enthusiast's ideal handheld gaming machine that really pushes the boundary of customisation, versatility and gaming fidelity.
No price point has yet to be revealed for the Win 3 in either of its variants, however we're guessing that all that top tech won't come cheap. Not for the casual gamer, then, but certainly something more serious joypad jockeys should follow as we move into 2021, and especially so while the Nintendo Switch Pro still remains firmly behind closed doors.
As mentioned above, the main competition on the horizon for the Nintendo Switch Pro from a mainstream console maker appears to be the PlayStation Protable 5G, which a few wisps of smoke are now forming around in the tech rumor mill.
The first we heard of a PSP 5G came back in May 2018, with information in the official Sony Corporation FY2017 financial results stating that it was staying in the smartphone business "to develop 5G technology as a competency that can be used across the Sony Group.”
This raised the inevitable question of where else 5G technology could be used within the Sony group, and Sony Interactive Entertainment was mooted as one of the most logical choices in terms of benefit (along with Sony's professional camera business).
Since then 5G has really come of age and Sony is producing 5G phones like the Xperia 1 II that make the most of it, offering rapid network connection speeds and low latencies.
Equally, cloud-gaming has also taken leaps forward, with services like Google Stadia launching and Microsoft really developing its Netflix-for-games Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Cloud gaming (Beta).
Nintendo, who is the only player in town with a handheld gaming console, is also tearing it up with both the Switch and Switch Lite, showing that there is massive demand for portable games consoles still, even in light of the rise of mobile gaming.
As such, all of a sudden a next-gen PlayStation Portable that is digital only and offers 5G cloud game streaming doesn't sound so far-fetched. Hopefully we will hear something more about a new PSP soon.
Elsewhere in gaming news a brand new video showing just how special the PSVR 2 virtual reality gaming headset could be has broken cover online.
The video shows a concept design entitles the PlayStation XR, which is a next-gen virtual reality gaming headset for use with the Sony PlayStation 5 console.
The headset is a marked technical improvement over the original PlayStation VR headset, with wireless operation, a 4K resolution, remote and interchangeable batteries, and support for 3D audio built in.
The headset also comes with a pair of New VR Controllers, which deliver the same next-gen haptic feedback as shown off in the DualSense controller. These controllers are also wireless.
While the PS XR is only a concept, and most likely a little too advanced to be how the real PSVR 2 headset will be specced, it is still interesting to see and really whets the appetite for Sony's next-gen virtual reality hardware.