Key Takeaways from ChinaJoy 2019

Tuesday 9/17/19 09:00am
Posted By Leilani DeLeon
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Snapdragon and Qualcomm branded products are products of
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

ChinaJoy Brings the Joy

ChinaJoy is a digital entertainment expo and conference held annually in China where vendors, including Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) and other key industry players, gather to show off their latest games and technology offerings. Now that the event has wrapped up, we thought this would be a good time to reflect on the event and draw attention to a few key takeaways of interest to mobile game developers. Perhaps the best place to start is with some stats that we've been following that underpin the significance of mobile gaming, particularly in China:
  • Games currently account for 43% of all smartphone use and 74% of all app store purchases.
  • In 2018, app store spending was at $100 Billion which means $74B was spent on gaming via mobile apps.
  • Gamers want devices with the highest gaming capabilities and are willing to pay for them, because for gamers, "winning matters". As a result, purpose-built gaming phones have become highly sought after.
  • 80% of gamers in China want specialized gaming phones.

Gaming Phones

With such significant numbers in mind, let's now take a look at some of the highlights from ChinaJoy 2019 and our presence at the convention.


QTI, along with over 30 ecosystem players including Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO, OnePlus, Nubia, Black Shark, ROG and Tencent Games to name a few, presented at the 12,000 square meter Snapdragon® themed hall. Together we showcased how new and advanced mobile technologies including 5G live network coverage and advanced on-device mobile AI, are transforming mobile gaming and digital entertainment experiences on smartphones, XR devices, and mobile PCs.

Of course the only thing that exceeded the vendor presence were the visitors themselves. With over 258,000 of the 364,000+ visitors attending the Snapdragon themed hall, it was a busy four days indeed.

Collectively the Snapdragon themed hall hosted over 860 contests involving human versus on-device mobile AI, over 70 on-stage events, and more than 40 demos. Some of the key ones included:

  • The five-versus-five challenge where players competed against the AI over 5G backed by 5G customer premise equipment (CPE).
  • Human versus on-device mobile AI eSports competitions.
  • 5G phone and cloud gaming demos.

Snapdragon Elite Gaming

Our Snapdragon® Elite Gaming capabilities were on full display on 14 newly-launched devices from 12 OEMs powered by the Snapdragon® 855 Mobile Platform and the Snapdragon 855+ Mobile Platform.

We were proud to see our Snapdragon 855/855+ showing off its gaming capabilities through these devices, which boasts 15% faster graphics rendering than the Snapdragon 855, a Qualcomm® Kryo™ processor running at 2.8GHz with 45% uplift (thanks to its three performance cores, four efficiency cores), and facilities for faster game launches.

Demonstrations of these capabilities were shown through popular gaming titles including PUBG, Honor of Kings, and QQ Speed, all running on OEM devices by Black Shark, Nubia, and ROG.

The Age of New Gaming Experiences from Emerging Technologies

It's no secret that 5G is starting to fulfill big promises, and these cover the area of mobile gaming as well. Here, 5G is opening up new frontiers enabling game play virtually anywhere through lower latency, distributed processing and cloud-based games, faster load times, and new services at the wireless edge.

Our 5G-covered hall at ChinaJoy included 5G phone demos from Vivo, ZTE, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Nubia, and 5G cloud gaming demos by Vivo, ZTE, and OnePlus. This included the first five-versus-five Honor of Kings Challenge, involving a Vivo iQOO device where players competed against AI developed by the Tencent AI Lab, with coverage provided by 5G CPE.

Another important frontier is the age of AI that we're entering, offering more realistic non-playable characters (NPCs) that are becoming less reliant on scripting, potential for virtually limitless levels and features, and highly-intelligent bots that can be used for training players and providing difficult opponents.

Snapdragon mobile platforms are also powering major XR devices[1], with XR gaming experiences that provide players with first-person views and actions. At ChinaJoy 2019, some of our ecosystem players including iQiyi, Pico, Nreal, Shadow Creator, HTC, and Ximmerse, showcased their OEM devices.

In addition, winners of the QTI and Pico XR Innovation Contest were announced at the Snapdragon themed hall.

This was a huge Mobile XR developer contest in China, and included 100 project submissions from mainland China and seven projects from overseas. The winners included nine projects in each of the two tracks: Games, and App/Experience. The ancient Chinese-style multiplayer sandbox game Warring States from BeeMan Studio, won the Platinum Award in the Game tracker, and a software tool for creating immersive environments, Mespper from Mespper VR, won the Platinum Award in the App/Experience track.

Windows on Snapdragon

As you may be aware, Windows 10 now runs on ARM-based processors which includes devices powered by the Snapdragon mobile platform. In conjunction with Microsoft, our Windows on Snapdragon offering powers always-on, always-connected experiences on thin, light, and fan-less mobile PC form factors such as gaming laptops.

Windows on Snapdragon was on display via Unity's "Boat Attack" demo, which has been ported natively to ARM 64 to demonstrate the Windows on Snapdragon/ARM port of their Unity gaming engine. The engine takes advantage of the Qualcomm® Adreno™ 680 rendering power and other features on Windows devices powered by Snapdragon.

The ability of the Snapdragon 850 mobile platform to handle highly demanding PC games on Windows on Snapdragon devices, were also showcased through additional games including Fantasy Westward Journey and Knives Out.

The Evolution of Mobile Gaming

Mobile gaming has continued to evolve since we reported on ChinaJoy last year. 5G and new devices powered by Snapdragon mobile platforms are taking center stage in the mobile gaming arena, as gamers demand more from both their hardware and of their connectivity.

It remains to be seen just how things will evolve by the time the doors open to the halls at next year's ChinaJoy. But until then, be sure to stay tuned to our blog on Qualcomm Developer Network throughout the year, to keep up with the latest in Snapdragon Elite Gaming and other mobile gaming topics.

Further Information

  1. Including Oculus Quest, Xiaomi MiVR, and others.

Snapdragon, Qualcomm Kryo, and Qualcomm Adreno are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.