Have you already seen the new Nintendo Switch Pro? The new Dell Alienware UFO concept, to be exact? While it may not be a Nintendo Switch, the Alienware UFO is clearly inspired by the hybrid console. But it’s not just some regular console. It’s an ultra-mobile PC, or a UMPC for short, with gaming in mind. This little machine is a full-fledged handheld gaming PC, but it isn’t the first of its kind. The Razer Edge and GPD Win both had the same idea, albeit with much worse execution. But none of this would be possible without Nintendo, a company whose contribution to handheld console gaming cannot be overstated. We all know how popular Nintendo’ other handhelds were back in the day. Suffice it to recall the resounding success of the Nintendo DS that has become Nintendo’s best-selling portable gaming system! Contrary to popular belief, handhelds are also making a rapid comeback. Still, doubt that? Check out today’s article.
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Alienware UFO

The Alienware UFO is like a beefed-up Nintendo Switch. And that’s because they’ve taken a lot of what makes the console so unique and implemented it into their concept. The controllers work pretty much exactly like the joy-cons do on the Switch. You can attach them to the console to use them in handheld mode or remove and place them on each side of the hub to use as a more traditional controller. The console features a comfy kickstand, which allows you to rest your system on a table and you’re your hub controller.

The possibilities of the Alienware UFO are endless. It runs Windows 10 and has an 8-inch 1200p touch screen, which is actually insane when compared to the Switch’s 6.2-inch 720p touch screen. The larger the screen the better when it comes to handheld gaming!

At the end of the day, the Alien UFO is still just a concept, which Dell has clearly given a lot of thought to. If it ever does see the light of day and wind up on store shelves, you’re no doubt going to be forking out more than $1000 to get your hand on this handheld system.

Razer Edge

Needless to say, the Alienware UFO isn’t the first foray into the gaming UMPCs. In fact, there have been two well-known attempts to create exactly what Dell was trying to create with the UFO. And the first gaming UMPC of its kind was the Razer Edge, which we’ve already mentioned at the beginning of today’s post.

Released in 2013, the Razer Edge was the coolest name for a product ever. While it was technically advertised as a gaming tablet and not a handheld gaming PC, let’s be honest – it’s exactly a handheld gaming PC. The Razer Edge is a Windows 8 tablet with a 10.1-inch 768p touch display and Intel i5 CPU. There also was a chance to upgrade to the Pro version of the system to enjoy more power granted by the i7 CPU, which is much better for gaming. Just like the Switch, you could play on the Edge in different ways, including tablet mode, keyboard dock mode, mobile console mode with controllers on each side of the tablet, and home console mode. It was an unbelievable package at $1000, but simple wasn’t worth it in 2013, when you could have gotten a more typical gaming PC for even cheaper.

Other UMPCs

The GPD Win, which was released in 2016, was the same story as the Edge. But its specs were less impressive because it was more designed for retro gaming and emulation than PV gaming.

The GPD Win is a UMPC running Windows 10 with an Intel Atom processor and integrated Intel graphics. It wasn’t anything special. That being said, it got the job done.

Two years later, in 2018, the GPD 2 was released with even more improved specs. But it was a little bit overwhelming and not quite at the level of the Razer Edge. On top of that, the price remained too high for a system with quite modest features and specs.

There was also the Smach Z Project launched in 2016. The developers promised that their product would deliver the best possible gaming experience on PC. And MD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics and Ryzen Embedded V1000 Core processor would suffice to deliver on this promise. But due to a bunch of problems, the project has reached a dead end.

It may seem odd, but we have Nintendo to thank for all these innovative handheld devices because it’s their original Game Boy that was launched in 1989, which changed handheld gaming forever. It showed us that gaming didn’t only need to take place in front of a TV or arcade cabinet. Nintendo dominated this market due to their incredible games on the consoles and solid pricing. And its legacy is still alive. The games that were released on Nintendo’s handhelds have long become classics and continue to inspire millions of gamers and game developers. So, long live handheld gaming!