These leaks were real! Logitech enters the arena of handheld gaming consoles, and cloud gaming is your entry-level platform? The company announced “Logitech G CLOUD Gaming Handheld”, a portable Steam Deck / Nintendo switch that runs on Android, has a full set of controller buttons, and is designed to take your cloud gaming collection on the go.
The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G octa-core processor – these are two Cortex A76 processors, four A55 processors and an Adreno 618 GPU, all built in the 8 nm process. It’s a mid-range chip that is very close to what you get in the Pixel 5a. It’s good enough for some local games, but these will be local Android games, and that’s not the purpose of this device. In addition to the “cloud” in the name, Logitech says the mobile device downloads “massive AAA libraries and advanced graphics from the cloud and puts it all in your hands. This allows you to play an absurd amount of games from Xbox, Nvidia GeForce NOW, and even Steam Link. “(Logitech continually disregards Stadia and Luna in their promotional material, but they’ll likely work too).
The spec sheet also includes a 7 inch, 60 Hz, 1920 × 1080 LCD, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB memory, and a MicroSD slot. There’s an 18W USB-C charging port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers, and Wi-Fi 5 (aka 802.11ac) support. For buttons, you get a fairly standard D-pad layout, two joysticks, ABXY face buttons, four shoulder buttons (two analog), and then four system buttons for things like ‘Home’ and ‘Menu’. Logitech’s FAQ goes out of their way to say that video output is not supported, so there are no Switch-style TV connections.
Unlike the Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck, the portable Logitech doesn’t have a fan. This means it won’t really be great for crunching your own artwork locally compared to the competition. The upside is that you get a tablet-like battery life: Logitech gives you up to 12 hours of game streaming from a 6000mAh battery.
There are no good answers regarding internet access for a portable cloud gaming device. Logitech’s Qualcomm chip opens up the possibility of cellular connectivity to LTE or 5G via a Qualcomm modem, but there is no cellular option at all for a Logitech handheld. A cellular network would make the device even more expensive, both upfront and with a monthly cellular bill, but the lack of one means that out of the box your “portable” cloud gaming device will only work if you find a friendly, high Wi-Fi quality -Fi-hotspot. It can never be used while traveling, at least not without connecting it to another device, and even then streaming mobile games will be difficult. It looks like you will continue to starve the Internet.
Logitech’s cloud handheld is $ 350 (but is now on sale for an initial price of $ 300), which is a difficult sale as it’s Nintendo Switch money. Steam Deck is $ 50 more. How much do you enjoy AAA Xbox / PC games and struggling with constant internet questions when you can have a fully local handheld for the same amount?
Somehow, this device only comes with Android 11, which is probably approaching the age limit that Google is willing to license third parties by the age of two. The system comes with Google Play so you’ll have easy access to all your favorite games, emulators, and streaming services. The press release says that the Logitech PDA was “developed in partnership with Tencent Games,” and the two companies have joined forces to “combine Logitech G’s hardware expertise with Tencent Games expertise in software services.” Tencent is a Chinese tech powerhouse and the world’s largest gaming company, thanks to its stake in a plethora of development houses such as Riot Games and 40 percent of Epic Games. Tencent also has tons of Android apps while Logitech doesn’t have any. I wonder if any Tencent software is baked in the operating system?
Handheld is available for pre-order now and will be available on Amazon and Best Buy in October.
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