Logitech has officially introduced the G Cloud Gaming Handled. This portable console, with a design similar to the Nintendo Switch, is above all dedicated to cloud gaming. But its price is likely to cool more than one…
That’s it, the future portable console was made official during Logi Play 2022, which was held on September 21 – although a few hours before it had already leaked on Amazon’s Canadian platform. Its name: the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handled. If, at first glance, it can make you think of the Nintendo Switch or Valve’s Steam Deck, it is distinguished by the fact that it is above all oriented towards cloud gaming. At the limit, it could rather compete with smartphones specialized in gaming and tablets, with the advantage of having an already integrated and perfectly designed “controller”. At the moment, it is only launched in the United States and Canada, for a price of 349.99 dollars excluding tax, and it is available from October 17. It has an immediate reduction during pre-orders, which lowers its price to 299 dollars excluding tax. Logitech intends to test its machine on a small market, and therefore with limited production, before deploying it in the rest of the world. Its availability in France has therefore not been announced for the moment.
Logitech G Cloud: a console specializing in cloud gaming
The Logitech G Cloud is equipped with a Snapdragon 720G chip, which is mainly used for video stream decoding operations, since images are calculated by remote servers for cloud gaming – it is a middle chip of range. It has 4 GB of random access memory (RAM) and 64 GB of storage, expandable by Micro SD. Its LCD screen – equipped with IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology offers very good colors and very wide viewing angles – is a real asset, with a size of 7 inches displaying Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) . Its brightness goes up to 450 nits. However, we can regret a refresh rate limited to 60 Hz – lower than on some smartphones. Too bad for subscribers to the RTX 3080 formula of GeForce Now, who are normally entitled to 120 Hz. The console weighs 463 grams, more than the Nintendo Switch and its 297 grams or 320 grams for the OLED version. The lack of a fan should make it pretty quiet.
Overall, the Logitech G Cloud resembles the Nintendo Switch, but in white, with a screen surrounded by a fairly large black bezel. There’s a joystick and options buttons on either side, a D-pad and a yellow Logitech G button on the left, and the A, B, X and Y keys plus a Home button on the right. On the back there are four triggers. At the level of the interface which is interesting, we can see the logos of the Chrome browser, YouTube, but especially the cloud gaming services Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce and Steam Remote Play, which allows you to install and launch a game , then being joined by four players – or more with a fast internet connection – to have fun together. screen, general settings, and power menu. Finally, at the top right, we see the time, the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections and the battery level.
Moreover, the Logitech portable console is equipped with a 6,000 mAh battery and promises up to 12 hours of play. It is rechargeable via a USB-C 3.1 socket. It is equipped with stereo speakers, a jack and a microphone with suppression of ambient noise. In addition, it supports Bluetooth 5.1 to connect wireless headphones and earphones. Big disappointment on the connection side, however, since cloud gaming is only accessible via Wi-Fi – and in addition, it is the old Wi-Fi 5 standard, while Wi-Fi 6, launched in 2019, offers increased speed and better performance than the previous version, while being more energy efficient. No 4G or 5G to play in transport therefore. Players will however be able to catch up with some local games, since the Logitech G Cloud runs on the Android system, and therefore benefits from games and applications from the Play Store – although the chip is not the most powerful on the video game market.
Logictech and Tencent Games: a shocking partnership
Abandoned by manufacturers in favor of ever more powerful machines and increasingly demanding games, the portable console has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent times. It must be said that the success of the Nintendo Switch, the only real portable console currently, is enough to arouse envy. Some have decided to follow his example, like Valve with its Steam Deck, or the Aya Neo Pro. Small problem: these devices are still rather large – and heavy – and look more like mini-laptops than portable consoles. In the end, the result is not really suitable for any mobility. The solution would rather be on the side of cloud gaming, and Logitech understood this well.
In a Press release, Logitech, the leading Swiss specialist in computer accessories, announced a partnership with the Chinese publisher Tencent – specializing in online and mobile services. Together, they develop a game console dedicated to cloud gaming, that is to say to the game “through” the Internet. “Today, Logitech G and Tencent Games are announcing a partnership that will bring a portable cloud gaming console to market later this year that will combine Logitech G’s hardware expertise with Tencent’s software services expertise”can we read in the press release.
Daniel Wu, general manager of Tencent Games Smart Solution Innovation Lab, does not hide his enthusiasm for this project and thus declared that “Logitech G’s leadership in PC and console gaming gear makes it the perfect partner to help us realize our vision of bringing a better gaming experience to gamers around the world. Today marks the beginning of a new opportunity for our companies to push the boundaries of gaming devices even further.” With this in mind, the two groups work directly with two major players in cloud gaming: Nvidia GeForce Now and Microsoft Xbox Cloud Gaming – which notably offers cloud gaming on console, PC, mobile and smart TV with its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Both services are also preinstalled on the console, as well as Steam Link. The console should also support other upcoming video game streaming services, such as Google Stadia, Amazon Luna or PlayStation Plus – if Sony decides to extend the cloud gaming function of its PlayStation Plus Premium to others devices as consoles and PC.
Cloud gaming: the future of video games?
Cloud gaming is a booming sector that can revolutionize the habits of many players and break down certain barriers. Where a computer or a console provides all the resources to a video game to run it, “Cloud gaming uses servers to deliver games to consumers. There is no need to download or install PC or console games. Instead, games are rendered and played on remote servers and users interact with them locally on their device”, the statement said. The device that supports the game calculates almost nothing since it only serves to display the images of the game which are calculated remotely, by specialized servers, and sent in real time. All heavy processing, which requires powerful processors, such as graphics, but also a large cooling system and a latest generation chip – and which weighs down the console – is carried out on the servers. Consequently, this should impact the design and weight of the future portable console while making it financially more accessible. Microsoft has understood this well with the announcement of its new console dedicated to cloud gaming, the Xbox Keystone.
But although the server does everything, it is still necessary to limit the latency between the server and the player as much as possible, video games being by nature interactive – unlike films or music. They therefore require exemplary responsiveness, especially for online games, which requires very good 4G coverage, or even access to 5G, when the player is on the move without the possibility of connecting to Wi-Fi. -faire and the commercial firepower of Logitech promote the growth of this emerging and very promising market.