Yesterday, Logitech introduced its $349.99 G Cloud Gaming Handheld, which is popping out within the US on October seventeenth (till then, it’s $50 off to preorder). Right now, I obtained to briefly check it out. It was only a 10-minute demo, nevertheless it was lengthy sufficient for me to snap a couple of images, launch some apps, and see the way it felt in my fingers. We’ll have a full evaluate within the coming weeks.
As I arrived on the testing station, Deathloop (freshly accessible on Xbox Recreation Cross) was streaming by way of Wi-Fi to the hand-held’s Xbox Cloud Gaming app. Sadly, it was the action-less intro sequence, however I nonetheless obtained to dash and bounce round. Although it wasn’t a enjoyable killer, like all of my experiences with cloud recreation streaming, there was only a whiff of enter lag that, at the least for me, is troublesome to disregard. On the plus aspect, the G Cloud’s buttons, triggers, and analog stick format really feel good. As for visible constancy, it’s powerful to know the way a lot might be blamed on a congested Wi-Fi community, however the recreation’s darkish environments regarded a little bit fuzzy on its seven-inch 1080p IPS panel.
That wasn’t the case once I switched to Fortnite by way of the Nvidia GeForce Now app. Exiting Xbox Recreation Cross and booting into a brand new app was satisfactorily speedy. My preliminary impression is that in case your baseline expectations for velocity in a handheld include simply the Nintendo Swap, I believe you’ll most likely be impressed with how responsive the efficiency and interface navigation really feel — maybe not a lot should you’re coming from a Steam Deck. At its greatest, Fortnite on the G Cloud Gaming Handheld appears to be like higher and runs smoother than it does on the Swap (not a really excessive bar, I do know), although that relies upon completely on the capabilities of your Wi-Fi community. In fact, since that is an Android-based handheld, it’s most likely doable to get precise Fortnite loaded onto this factor and never fear about the entire cloud side. Although, I’m unsure how effectively it’d run with its Snapdragon 720G and 4GB of RAM.
The remainder of my time with the G Cloud Gaming Handheld was spent getting misplaced in its Android launcher that Tencent apparently assisted with in improvement, which feels ripped out of the Android Honeycomb days (though the unit that I examined was working Android 11). It’s simple sufficient to seek out your entire apps, apart from the gaming-focused ones that it places entrance and middle. While you’re your full app library, you possibly can click on a face button that serves as a portal to the Google Play Retailer, the place you possibly can obtain virtually something, I’d think about. Aesthetically, the person interface is making an attempt for a gamer-y vibe that didn’t completely click on with me.
The G Cloud Handheld is comfy to carry. The built-in grips supply a superb quantity of palm assist, and the textured plastic round its again and on the triggers is a pleasant contact. By way of ergonomics alone, I’d undoubtedly desire to lose a couple of hours enjoying video games on this than on the Swap. On the underside, there’s a headphone jack subsequent to a USB-C port that’s used primarily for charging. It could possibly’t assist pushing video out to exterior screens — I requested — although it’ll work with USB-C audio transmitters for headsets that provide that sort of factor. On the highest left of the hand-held’s rail, there’s a quantity rocker subsequent to a sleep swap (you possibly can energy it down via the software program, as effectively). And eventually, there’s a microSD card slot over on the suitable aspect, subsequent to the suitable shoulder buttons.
This handheld feels and appears effectively designed, and it took no time in any respect for me to really feel like this can be a gadget that I would like to spend so much extra time testing. Although, like most Logitech merchandise, polished because it feels, spending time with it didn’t change that I’m not a fan of its $349.99 retail worth. It’s important to be completely purchased in, not simply to this handheld however to the providers that you simply wish to play video games on. So, the price solely goes up from there.
Wanting outdoors of this handheld, it’s actually troublesome to underplay how a lot worth among the different common handheld consoles supply proper now, together with the $199 Swap Lite or the extra succesful $299 Swap that may hook up with a TV. To not point out, the Steam Deck’s $399 beginning worth is a tempting various if you wish to play PC video games on the go. Even so, Android tablets customary into handhelds which might be available for buy are simply unusual sufficient that the G Cloud Gaming Handheld might be a success. We’ll should see.