Razer teamed up with Chinese technology giant Tencent in order to take mobile gaming beyond Android-powered hardware it started releasing in 2017, the company announced Thursday.
Tencent confirmed the collaboration in a brief statement, with the duo jointly revealing their partnership will be focused on three core areas: hardware, software, and services. In other words, Tencent will be optimizing its games for Razer handsets without exception moving forward. Besides pure performance gains, this could also entail native support of the Chroma lights found on the back of the Razer Phone 2 or the THX Spatial Audio tech. Finally, Tencent agreed to jointly look at opportunities pertaining to potential synergies of Razer services and its games, with the primary goal of that effort being identification of new monetization avenues.
Tencent's Android games are already optimized for Razer's mobile devices to a large degree, with the Chinese firm being on the relatively short list of developers who are currently fully the unique 120Hz screen found on both generations of Razer-branded handsets. The higher refresh rate is a massive advantage in gaming as it allows more frames to be displayed in any given period; consequently making on-screen action smoother and less tiring on the eyes, assuming the games in question support such high refresh rates and the smartphones running them can actually bring them so high to begin with.
The announcement of Razer's new mobile gaming partnership comes shortly after reports from the Far East claimed the Razer Phone 3 has been greenlit following some deliberations, citing sources close to Taiwanese mobile component suppliers. The first two generations of the Razer Phone were hardly a hit but they did manage to make quite a few waves in the industry, consequently bringing the company's branding and its new portable gaming initiative in front of many eyes, much more than the limited scope of its target audience would have initially suggested or been expected to deliver.
Ultimately, even as Razer is said to have mulled over the potential of releasing the Razer Phone and whether the entire affair was even worth it since mid-February, it now opted not to discontinue the project and bank on the old adage of the third time being the charm, according to the same source.
Even if just a fraction of that report is accurate, the reality would paint a startlingly different picture to how Razer presented the current state of its mobile gaming efforts as they pertain to the newly announced Tencent partnership.
Tencent itself has a stake in everything from Snapchat to Fortnite and PUBG, and is also suspected to be somehow related to a gaming platform Snap Inc. is expected to launch next month. At the same time, one of its main studios is just wrapping up work on a full-featured Call of Duty game for Android smartphones and tablets, so if anyone's going to help Razer make mobile gaming relevant in the West, it's the Shenzen-based entertainment conglomerate.
Mobile gaming may yet reach the next level Razer is talking about in the near future as the likes of ASUS, Vivo, OPPO, Honor, and Huawei are all now working on game-oriented handsets, whereas even Nintendo's reportedly reconsidering its previous decision not to design an Android smartphone.