Mobile gaming, as we’ve discussed previously on Interpret Insights, is in the midst of explosive growth. The fact that Take-Two Interactive would spend nearly $13 billion to acquire Zynga is proof of just how valuable mobile development has become. Similarly, one of the key aspects of the Microsoft-Activision deal is that the Xbox creator has now gained a foothold in the space through Activision subsidiary King, creators of the hugely popular Candy Crush series. This will be especially important for the Microsoft gaming business overseas where mobile is more popular than console or PC gaming.
This is great news for leading smartphone makers like Samsung who have increasingly catered their products to a gaming audience. Recently, Samsung unveiled a brand-new mobile chipset, the Exynos 2200, that it is positioning to challenge the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 from Qualcomm. While Snapdragon chips are found in many of the more powerful smartphones on the market, Samsung teamed with AMD back in 2020 so that it wouldn’t have to rely on Qualcomm. The fruits of that partnership are about to be realized.
The Exynos 2200 will be Samsung’s first system-on-a-chip to include a GPU with AMD’s RDNA 2 graphics architecture. Aside from the usual performance upgrades (faster, more efficient), incorporating AMD’s tech will enable gaming-centric features like hardware-accelerated ray tracing. Ray tracing has become a key component of high-end visuals on both the PC and new consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X because it simulates how light behaves in real-time, leading to far more realistic looking game worlds and characters.
Samsung also said that the Exynos 2200 will support QHD+ panels at up to 144Hz, which hints at what upcoming Samsung smartphones could offer consumers. At the moment, Samsung hasn’t specified when the new chipset will hit the market or in which phone models; it would not be surprising, however, to see it built into the upcoming Galaxy S22. Although Samsung has not explicitly mentioned expanding its chipset business, Exynos has been used by Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo as well, so it’s possible that the Korean firm could look to take market share from Qualcomm by forging more partnerships with other smartphone makers.
If the Exynos 2200 lives up to the hype, it should prove to be popular with the gaming crowd. According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, Samsung already excels in appealing to the gaming audience, as Samsung phone owners play more weekly than iPhone owners across both mobile and PC/console platforms.