Chinese device maker GPD has made a bit of a name for itself over the past few years by releasing a series of handheld computers for gaming, general purpose use, and for IT/networking professionals.

But the company got its start by producing handheld Android gaming devices.

So when GPD’s CEO posted an image of an unannounced prototype on Facebook that looks a lot like a Nintendo Switch-style device… it raised a few questions.

First, is this something the company will actually release? Or is it just a form factor GPD is exploring?

Second, are we looking at an Android device or a Windows model?

Third, what does it look like from the front?

And fourth, how do you use it if you detach what appear to be game controllers on the sides?

Here’s what we do know, based on the photo alone. The device appears to have a rear camera. Held next to a Nintendo Switch, it appears to be a similarly-sized device, so a 6 or 7 inch display seems about right. There appear to be several buttons and/or ports on the top of the device. And there’s a part of the case that seems to open up — it could be a kickstand, a battery cover, or something else.

There’s also a vent, so it’s likely that this is not a fanless device.

To reiterate, it’s unclear if or when this device will hit the streets, what kind of software it would run, or how much it would cost.

via /r/gpdwin

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23 replies on “GPD might be prepping a Nintendo Switch-like device”

  1. Instead of clicking on the picture to get an enlarged view (like every other picture on this site), you instead have it opening Facebook whenever someone clicks on the picture.

    That is evil, and you should be ashamed.

    1. Clicking the lead picture in most articles on this site takes you to the place where that picture came from. It’s only thumbnail images in galleries that get bigger when you click them. But you can always right-click and choose the option to open an image in a new window.

  2. Hmmm… Could it be a GPD keyboard, clamshell with detachable controllers? If so, count me in. They can use clickable sticks then!

  3. GPD’s pretty blatant in what device they’re ripping off. I guess that’s normal in China though.

    1. Their Pocket 1/2 was also an open rip off MacBook Pros. Ironically, One Netbook ripped off GPD. Then the GPD fanboys got all in a hissy fit about IP theft, haha. Go ahead and down vote me. Seems like Liliputing has a lot of GPD fanboys who up/down vote en masse.

      1. To say the Pocket 1 and Pocket 2 which are 7″ pocketable UMPC’s with reduced keyboard layouts are a macbook pro copy, is a stretch and a half

        1. A failed rip-off then despite GPD’s own advertising comparing it to the MacBook Pros they’re copying.

  4. What ultimately makes the Switch attractive as a gaming device is its software. I don’t think there is anything GPD can do to shore up that front. (How does one compete against the likes of Pokemon, Zelda, Smash, Mario…etc..?)

    If GPD’s device runs Windows, it’ll be limited to pretty low power chips, which doesn’t bode well for a gaming-focused device. If it runs Android, it’ll suffer from a poor library of games. (There are a lot of bad quality games on Android and most are designed with touchscreen controls in mind.)

    Ongoing Android system updates is also going to present a challenge; most companies who push out Android devices don’t support them with updates for very long at all.

    1. First of all, I wonder if the Slide-on rails are compatible with the official Nintendo JoyCons. If they are, perhaps people can replace, or even upgrade to using Nintendo’s controller instead, since Bluetooth connection will work with either Windows or Android (might require tweaking).

      Now, I actually don’t mind the Android platform for games, as long as you have the option to hide the on-screen buttons and use a gamepad on that small screen. Its also enriched by having some fairly capable emulation (upto Nintendo Wii, not quite PS2, Nintendo DS or Nintendo Switch yet).

      Having Windows10 Pro can only make it better. With access to Emulating Android itself, there’s also emulation of new titles (like BOTW, etc etc), not to mention thousands of flash-based games, some eSports titles (eg Rocket League, Overwatch, Fortnite etc etc), then older-mainstream Windows games (eg Fallout New Vegas, CoD4, etc etc), or new-mainstream titles but played at much reduced quality (eg Doom, TombRaider, etc etc). Not to mention all the other media and productivity aspects of the full desktop experience.

      However, the option for Windows10 Pro means having a ULV-x86 chipset… and this means having less battery life, more heat, and a larger device, all at the same time.
      And for that reason I prefer having a large phone/phablet like the Samsung S10+ or ASUS RoG Phone. And to have removable JoyCons like the Nintendo Switch (or Xiaomi BlackShark2) which I can store separately in my other pocket, then have a truly portable console.

      Yes, much more pocketable/portable than the Nintendo Switch, PS Vita, GPD Win2, GPD XD, Nintendo DS, PSP Go. But much better experience than the current touchscreen smartphone games.

      1. Again, current ULV x86 chips don’t handle Android emulation very well. The overhead for emulation is quite considerable. The closest thing to a gaming-grade chip for something approaching a handheld form factor that I can think of is the stuff used in Intel’s Hades Canyon NUC. Unfortunately, even that would be quite bulky to carry around, in addition to being very cost-prohibitive and power hungry. (In the context of a device running on a battery, you won’t get very much use time out of it at all. It pulls over 200W under load.)

        1. Search YouTube and you will see how this is wrong.
          ULV x86 chips, say the GPD Win2, is much better geared for emulation than even the latest QSD 855 SoC…. and that has like what 3 years of newer technology and a much better lithography.

          Don’t underestimate Windows 7/10, in its ability to do emulation well.

  5. Why does the GPD logo look like they applied it backwards?
    It reads ‘GbD’ to my eyes not ‘GpD.’
    Did someone just silk-screen the logo on the back of a handheld console to troll someone at Nintendo?

    1. Its GPD mirrored because it came from an alternate universe. Flip the image horizontally.

    2. Maybe they’re changing their name for their gaming focused devices so people don’t accidentally buy the wrong device so too me a name change would be a good idea but I dont know much about the company so im probably wrong.

  6. I really hope it’s something running windows and at least as powerful as the GPD Win 2 – perhaps something with Ryzen Vega graphics?

    I have the original GPD Win. I like it okay, but I think the form factor of a switch (or PSP, etc) would be more comfortable for gaming. The physical keyboard just doesn’t seem necessary for a device like these where gaming (with a gamepad) is the focus. Most games that benefit from a keyboard won’t get the same benefit from the tiny keyboard of the GPD Win devices.

  7. Holy guacamole! GPD’s been productively busy for the past year. Pocket2, MicroPC, Win2 Max and now this.

  8. I’ve been hopeful that they might go back to selling some portable Android game devices (a device focused on being a gaming device, and not an UMPC with gamepad controls).

    I’d be interested in something like this, but I’m not interested in the detachable controllers. Make it something like a PS Vita. Infact just make a PS Vita clone, and make it run Android.

    If they want to make something really interesting, make it with a 4:3 screen, to focus on retro gaming emulation.

      1. It is better for performance, and it has a better selection of emulators, but an ARM system running Android has better battery life, and can run on fanless SOCs.

        Also I don’t suspect we would get a very high end x86 CPU in a small package like I described, thats why I envision that type of product being best suited for ARM and Android

        1. I think for a large device like this (7inch or bigger), an x86 Windows10 Pro system makes a lot more sense. It will be more useful with the desktop operating system, emulation from the PSP, PS2, GameCube, Wii, and Switch will run better (ie better ports). And yes, at this size you can even have the controllers mounted to the tablet.

          And if it has a dock, when hooked to a TV it would be an okay experience with the JoyCons.

          However, I actually prefer having a small device. Something more portable than the Nintendo DS and PS Vita, and that means you need the controllers to be removable (so they can go into your other pocket). And that means an ARM SoC and Android OS. Meaning you only get emulation upto PSP, since GPD will be unlikely to use a Qualcomm Snapdragon, HiSilicon Kirin, or a flagship Samsung Exynos. They’re going to stick to a budget RockChip or MediaTek, and we’ll be lucky to even get a 16nm lithography/Cortex A73 chipset, and the GPU will definitely be on the weak side.

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