So, to start with, you may or may not be familiar with PUBG New State. To be fair, up until a couple weeks ago, I’d only heard of it in passing and I immediately assumed this was just some new mode for the desktop version of PUBG. As a PUBG Mobile player, those changes and additions largely don’t mean a while lot to me as they don’t usually show up on the mobile version of the game.
I’d like to share an important note about why that is before we move on. PUBG was the original battle royale game that started the entire genre. It was originally made by a small team and though that development house has grown over the years, changed hands, and been bought out; in the early days it was a smaller outfit.
Because of this, those in charge of PUBG in those earlier days decided to simply license their IP (intellectual property) for a mobile build of the popular desktop game. Tencent, a massive company, bought those rights (and other parts of the entire PUBG – Bluehole team), made PUBG Mobile, and the divergence of the two games began (this is an over-simplification, so if you want more details, head here). Unlike Fortnite, PUBG is not the same game on mobile as it is on desktop. While the desktop version of PUBG slowly lost market share to Fortnite, PUBG Mobile exploded in growth, and this led to some very big discrepancies between the two versions of what looked like the same game on the surface.
At this point, if you pick up PUBG Mobile and compare it to PUBG for desktop, they are pretty wildly different. The two have different maps, highly-varied game modes, and very different approaches to loot and money making. While PUBG on the desktop is still pretty stoic and reserved, PUBG Mobile has become a bit of a circus, incorporating a dizzying array of loot, costumes, themes, and big-budget tie-ins that honestly don’t make any sense whatsoever.
For those of us who really enjoy the game, it feels a bit like wading through a Dave and Busters on a crowded night just to bowl a couple games with your friends. Did you bowl? Sure. If bowling was your only goal, was all the other hoopla necessary? Not even a little bit. If there was a nice bowling alley that stayed focused on delivering a great bowling alley experience without all the extra distraction, would you go there instead? You bet.
Here comes PUBG New State to the rescue
Enter PUBG New State: an entirely new game built by the same folks that are responsible for the desktop (original) PUBG, just for mobile. The announcement happened back in February and I simply missed it. Why? Likely because the developers behind the original PUBG Mobile (Tencent) don’t want me to know anything about this new game. While “set in the same universe” as one another, there’s no question that PUBG Mobile and PUBG New State are going to be competing properties from the get-go, and that’s bad news for PUBG Mobile.
PUBG New State, by comparison, looks clean, focused, and absolutely fun. The graphics have been 100% overhauled with a new rendering engine and though there’s an updated Erangel map (the first, original PUBG map), the focus is really on the new Troi map. This play zone is host to the game’s lore and story, and all the content already shared by the official PUBG New State team conveys more cohesion and story than any single season of PUBG Mobile has ever hoped to. It looks really awesome and I think the ongoing story – like it does in Fortnite – will continue to change the landscape and play options in the game going forward.
The real news, here, is the fact that this game looks to be what the PUBG developers likely wanted to do early on but didn’t have the resources to accomplish. This game looks like the desktop PUBG has been honed a bit to run well on mobile devices and will incorporate lots of new gameplay elements and features. I’d encourage you to go check out their YouTube channel to see all that is on the way. This game looks like it will be amazing, and the hype the developers are building is already a sign that they know they have a great game to deliver on November 11th.
What about Chromebooks?
There have been a few alpha tests of New State already done, and that means YouTubers have already put out lots of video content on the game, reacting to the graphics, physics and gameplay. Of note, many of them comment on how well the game runs on less-than-optimal hardware. If anything has ever been true of PUBG Mobile, it is the fact that it has never run well on low-end devices and Chromebook support has always left me a bit underwhelmed.
On the flip side of this, New State seems ready to run on far less hardware, and that is a good sign for those wanting to run it on a Chromebook. But there’s one problem: nearly every Chromebook I’ve tried to pre-register for the game with shows New State as unavailable. I’ve tested 11th, 10th, and 8th-gen Intel devices (small and large core), MediaTek MT8183 devices, AMD devices, and even Snapdragon 7c Gen 1 devices. None of them look ready to install the new mobile shooter.
Except one. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 that I’m typing this on right now is the lone Chromebook that I can see PUBG New State pre-register options on in the Play Store. This means that on Thursday, I’ll be able to install PUBG New State on one Chromebook and one Chromebook, only. Whether this is simply due to the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor inside or some specific thing Lenovo worked out with Krafton, this device looks to be getting the new game while all others are left out.
With PUBG New State’s low bar for hardware requirements, I’m pretty optimistic about playing this game on a regular basis from the Lenovo Duet 5. I’ve developed what I’d call a crush on this Chromebook, so having it as a regular gaming device on top of all the other things it does well would really make it a go-to tablet for me and I’m sure many others.
I’d assume that, down the road, we’ll see more Chromebooks get access to PUBG New State. When the MediaTek MT8192 and MT8195 devices begin showing up in the coming weeks, I’d wager Krafton will open the gates to those as well. If I’m dreaming a bit, the inclusion of Chromebooks in the conversation of new apps like LumaFusion (video editor) coming to Android make me hopeful that a game as tightly developed as PUBG New State might finally allow for mouse/keyboard support on Chromebooks down the road. There would be an entirely new audience for the game if that was the case, but I’m not holding my breath at this point. For now, I’m excited that at least one Chromebook made the cut for the release date, and I’ll be reporting back about the experience after Thursday’s launch.