Gaming peripheral company Razer suggested there may be a Razer Phone 3 on the horizon, but its waiting for software and networks to catch up.
Following a report about workforce cuts, rumours swirled suggesting Razer wouldn’t continue making phones.
While that may be the case for now, Razer’s CEO, Min-Liang Tan told Engadget in an interview that the company can still make a smartphone — it just won’t, though.
“If I buy a phone this year as a gamer, I want to buy a 5G phone, but if I buy a 5G phone, there’s no network to use it on,” Tan said, suggesting we could see a Razer Phone 3 when networks catch up to 5G.
It makes sense — 5G could provide the beefier networks needed for streaming games on the go, say through a platform like Google Stadia.
Software is holding back the Razer Phone
However, it’s not just about networks. Tan pointed to software as a significant issue in mobile gaming.
One example Tan gave was the use of I/O “hacks” such as using keyboard and mouse with a mobile game, or the use of button-mapping features that let users tap the screen mid-frame.
Tan told Engadget that these “hacks” create poor experiences for players, especially at the pro level, as game makers didn’t design for those input methods.
“I mean, try playing a keyboard-and-mouse game with a controller, you’re gonna really hate it,” Tan said.
Despite expressing a dislike for these “hacks,” Tan also noted there’s a demand for them. For example, PUBG Mobile players in China use keyboard and mouse to boost their performance.
So, it’s not so much that players use I/O hacks as it is the quality of the experience of using them, according to Tan. As such, Razer is working with game developers — including Chinese publisher Tencent’s portfolio — to standardize an I/O platform with a benchmark. Then, the company will help developers rebuild their games “from the ground up” with native integration of the I/O standard.
Further, the standardization isn’t just about I/O. Tan wants to see more mobile games offer uncapped frame rates to take advantage of faster displays — like the Razer Phone’s 120Hz LCD panel.
Hopefully, Razer’s push to make mobile games better will wrap up as 5G becomes available everywhere, as that will be when software and networks won’t hold back Razer’s hardware anymore.
That moment is likely a few years off yet, which means fans of Razer’s mobile offering will have to wait a while before they get the Razer Phone 3.