What you need to know
- Logitech has teamed up with Microsoft and NVIDIA to offer a handheld based entirely on Xbox and NVIDIA GeForce Now cloud gaming services.
- The Logitech G CLOUD gaming handheld is an Android-based all-in-one gaming handheld with WiFi and Bluetooth support, set to launch in October 2022.
- The handheld comes with Xbox Cloud Gaming and NVIDIA GeForce Now bundled as standard, with support for Google Play Services, with access to services like Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Steam Link, among other gaming apps.
- It starts at $349 USD and is set to launch in the U.S. and Canada next month, with other regions to follow later.
One of my biggest criticisms of Xbox Cloud Gaming has been peripherals. Touch controls are okay for some games, and mobile controllers like the Razer Kishi and GameSir X2 family are decent in some circumstances. However, gaming on your phone has a number of drawbacks, from notifications interrupting your gameplay, taking up your battery, or even touch controls obscuring UI elements. I've called on Microsoft to make its own handheld, and this might just be the next best thing.
Say hello to the Logitech G Cloud, offering a dedicated streaming handheld, available from just $349, starting in the U.S. and Canada.
Logitech G Cloud: What is it?
The Logitech G Cloud is a handheld gaming device that orients around cloud streaming, with hardware optimizations specifically designed to improve video streams from services like Xbox Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass, NVIDIA GeForce Now, and Steam Link. It doesn't support LTE for 4G or 5G support and is designed primarily for WiFi in-home couch gaming via the cloud.
It sports a Snapdragon 720 and 4GB of RAM, which won't lend itself well to running mobile games like Genshin Impact or Diablo Immortal. Still, with its optimizations, it should provide a great experience for cloud gaming streaming services, complete with Xbox-style ABXY controls, triggers, bumpers, and analog joysticks.
The Logitech G Cloud has a handheld gaming interface built to populate with streaming services you install and allows you to take screenshots and clips. Indeed, this handheld is essentially a tablet powered by Android 11 and also sports the full suite of Google Play services to download streaming services and apps. It has multi-touch support, Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX for audio, with a full HD screen with a 16:9 display ratio ideal for modern console and PC games.
The full tech specs are below.
Logitech G Cloud: Tech Specs
|Storage||UFS 64 GB|
|microSD expandable storage slot|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, Octacore CPU 2.3 GHz|
|Controls||ABXY "Xbox style" face buttons|
|L & R joysticks, bumpers, and triggers|
|L & R optional buttons, "G" menu button, Android "home" button|
|Haptics feedback, 3D gyroscope, light sensor|
|Wireless connectivity||WiFi: 2x2 MIMO, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz / 5GHz|
|USB type||USB 3.1 USB-C x1|
|Display||7" IPS screen, multi-touch|
|450 nits brightness|
|1920 x 1080 FHD, 60 Hz refresh rate|
|Audio||3.5mm stereo audio jack, stereo speakers|
|stereo microphone, echo cancellation and noise supression|
|Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX codec support|
|USB-C headphone support|
|Battery||6000 mAh, up to 12 hours cloud gaming (50% volume, 50% brightness)|
|Up to 830 hours standby time|
|Quick charging 3.0, up to 2.5 hours charging|
|Dimensions and weight||257 mm x 117 mm x 33 mm|
|OS||Android 11 with Google Play, and OTA updates|
|Handheld Mode||Logitech Game Launcher with remappable controls|
|Tablet Mode||Android 11 vanilla tablet experience|
|Preinstalled apps||Google services, Xbox Game Pass, NVIDIA GeForce Now, Steam Link|
Logitech G Cloud: Release date, price, and availability
The Logitech G Cloud will sport a $349 RRP, but retailers are already listing it at $299 instead. It'll launch in the U.S. and Canada on October 18, 2022.
In conversations with Logitech, the firm suggested that the plan is to eventually go global, launching in locations where Xbox Cloud Gaming and other streaming services are available.
Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld ($299
The Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld is a WiFi-only Android gaming device with dedicated Xbox controls, designed for streaming games on Xbox Cloud Gaming, NVIDIA GeForce Now, and Steam Link. It sports multitouch and has Google Play, essentially functioning as a lower-price Android tablet oriented around gaming.
Logitech G Cloud: Why it could be awesome
You may be wondering why the Logitech G Cloud is $349, considering the Steam Deck runs games natively and starts at $399. The major difference here is the software subsidy. Steam can offer its hardware at a lower price because it's taking a cut of every piece of software sold through its massive storefront.
Logitech's G Cloud is pure hardware, with Google taking all of the software sales through Google Play and NVIDIA and Xbox taking its subscriptions via a browser. It's a vanilla Android tablet designed wholly for cloud streaming and cloud gaming, utilizing Google's vanilla Android platform.
Even though it may seem a little on the pricy side, costing more than an Xbox Series S itself, Logitech offers an open alternative straight out of the box. It's offering no software services through the platform. It should, however, provide a more natural experience for the growing number of streaming services.
Cloud games are great on mobile devices in a pinch, but even the biggest phone screens aren't great at accommodating the small fonts designed for television screens and monitors. This device seems like it could provide a far more optimized "handheld" Xbox experience. It will sport superior battery life to devices like the Steam Deck without draining your main phone's battery in the process.
It remains to be seen how well it performs in practice. It could be that the overheads from Google Play licensing and so on make this device too pricey for most. But the Logitech G Cloud could be a promising solution for those hooked on the cutting edge of cloud services from Microsoft, NVIDIA, and more, and the proposition of millions of Android tablet touch apps out of the box sweetens the deal a little, at least for me.
We'll let you know some final thoughts once we get our hands on one in the near future.
Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
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