With the recent release of the Samsung Note 10, 10+ and 10+ 5G, people appear to be far more focused on the gesture control and overall performance of the device instead of theorising on what the device’s improved additions could bring to mobile gaming’s future…
…So what exactly inspired me to create this article? Well, I’ve been keeping a close eye on one of my favourite emulation YouTubers, ETA PRIME, and his current analysis of various emulators and their performance on the Samsung Note’s version of Samsung DeX, quickly becoming one of his favourite emulation-driving devices of this year; running many emulators from PCSX2 to Redream, to ePSXe and more at 60fps in certain test cases… And with the additional possibility of loading up Linux on your phone to run in DeX mode, the comparisons between mobile and low-end PC gaming blur significantly.
In terms of specs, taking the Note 10+ 5G as a basis, 12GB RAM, a possible maximum of 1.5TB storage, and bluetooth controller support, and you have yourself a USB-C powered portable emulation monster… At least in most cases.
See, where DeX is limited is in it’s somewhat complex nature to set up emulators and obtain legal ROM files, and in it’s software – Hardware will constantly scale and evolve over time, so there will be a point where we can bridge the gap between mobile and entry / mid-level PC’s, however I’d theorise this would only start happening come around the middle of the next decade.
Not just this, but you also need to factor in the massive array of issues that Linux and Android have with compatability and performance – Personally, if there were a sort of hyper-optimised Linux distro that implemented an Android-esque design (Think Chrome OS on Chromebooks) that naturally blended in with Android and Samsung’s OneUI, then I would immediately become an advocate, and would drop some pretty heavy money on such software.
…So what does DeX mean for mobile gaming? Well, despite it being hardly advertised, it means that we could soon see a far wider number of mobile games shipping with higher presets for larger monitors and TV’s, further expanded overclocking potential, or even external GPU’s for phones, similar to how eGPU units currently work for laptops and the like; not just this, but the freer portability as well opens up an even larger host of possibilities when you consider the Samsung Fold – Opening up DeX and using the Fold as a touchpad / USB-C controller, and a Wiki or social media-surfing device all at the same time? Sign me up. It could easily become what the PlayStation Vita wanted to be, and more, allowing me to access not only PC games in low-mid settings, but also possibly Google Stadia, emulated games from the PS2 / Gamecube backwards, all of my social needs, business needs and multimedia needs – It’s a hell of a pipedream, but I really hope it works as it’s totally unique in today’s current mobile market.
Additionally, combining this with the newly announced Google Play Store ‘Play Pass’ allows for gamers to experience the best of what mobile, PC and retro gaming has to offer all in a single device. Hell, if Sony ever hurried up and brought PS Remote Play to Android, then you could even possibly throw PS4 on the list! The app already works fantastically on iPadOS and iOS, so to see it currently limited by software borders is a crying shame… And before you say it, no! I’m not by any means a Samsung fanboy (If anything, OnePlus has my vote)… But it’s interesting to take a peek at a core innovation in mobile gaming that many seem to be either ignoring, neglecting, or outright don’t know exists, and I really, really hope we see more implementations similar to DeX with other brands in the future…
…Because if not, and the community and Samsung figures out a way to capitalise on the mobile and ‘core’ gaming markets… Then I may just have to recind my non-fanboy comment!
What do you think of this little theory, this retrospective of lesser known tech? Do you think you’d use DeX as a hub for all your gaming needs if Linux was more compatible with Steam games and with Samsung’s ecosystem? Let me know in the comments below!