Almost everyone has something from Logitech at home: a mouse, a keyboard, or maybe a webcam. The company has been making devices that are ubiquitous, but also perhaps unobtrusive since 1981. The company clearly wants to change that: Logitech has to be “big” and what better way to do that than to organize a two-day event revolving around the brand? We were invited by Logitech and we traveled to Berlin for Logi Play, an event to celebrate “the culture of gaming and live streaming”, but most importantly where Logitech showcased new products, including Logitech’s first handheld cloud gaming.
Let’s be honest: you don’t organize such a two-day event just for a new keyboard. At the end of August, Logitech had already given the world a little taste of J Cloud A day before the official announcement, we had a brief introduction to G Cloud. We also spoke with Ahmed Riad global design chief Robert Carter Technical Marketing Manager From Logitech Gaming.
Logitech G Cloud
To start from the beginning, what are handheld cloud gaming? G Cloud is very similar to the Nintendo Switch, but the idea behind it is different. When the Switch is meant to play games yourself, the idea behind G Cloud is that you use streaming services and let the servers in the data center do the work.
|Logitech G Cloud|
|social||Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G|
|storage||64 GB (expandable with microSD)|
|Monitor||1920 x 1080, IPS, 450cd/m², touch|
This has its advantages, because if you do not have to do all these calculations to run a game, you can get simple hardware without the need for additional cooling, and this ensures low weight. Despite its 7-inch screen, the G Cloud weighs 462 grams, which is significantly less than, say, Valve’s Steamdeck, which also has a 7-inch screen, but weighs 669 grams. The Nintendo Switch OLED is a little lighter at 421g, but like Steamdeck it has a fan that you can hear when the device gets hot. This fan is missing from the Logitech console.
You don’t have to worry about devices getting hot with G Cloud. We’ve been playing on G Cloud for a while and the only noticeable warming you can feel is the side of the console, where your hands are. Speaking of which, it’s not a punishment to stick with G Cloud. There is a slight ribbed pattern on the back and where the ball of your hand wraps around the controller, it has been made a little thicker, so it fits comfortably in the hand.
The layout of the buttons and joysticks feels like a cross between the design of the Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Xbox. Just like the switch, there is a joystick on the top left with the d-pad below, while you have the A, B, X, and Y buttons on the right, with another joystick below. The placement of the keys A, B, X, and Y is similar to the Xbox and those who are used to a Microsoft console can blindly find their way around on the G Cloud. If you can’t get used to this layout, you can toggle the buttons in the G Cloud settings and set up the functions the way you want.
These buttons and joysticks feel good quality. For example, you can’t press the buttons too deeply, the control levers rotate smoothly in every direction and the triggers are small, but provide enough resistance to be able to dose. Of course, at the moment this remark says nothing about how the buttons will withstand years of intense gaming sessions, but at least the first impression is good.
G Cloud runs on Android 11, which Logitech puts its own shell on. Tencent is largely responsible for this program. “We use Tencent for the software, but we also have our own software and design department,” explains Riaz. This software section provides feedback to Tencent, which comes from the knowledge about gamers’ desires that Logitech gain from their G Hub software.
For tweakers, choosing Android 11 may be disappointing, because at the time of writing, the first devices were already equipped with Android 13. Riad and Carter were still a bit vague about a possible upgrade to Android 12. “I’m not sure [of er een upgrade naar Android 12 komt]but I doubt that a lot of future decisions will come from the feedback from our users,” Carter said.
Anyway, the current interface works just fine on the game console. You can scroll horizontally through the most important apps, such as WebOS on LG TVs, or as with the menu on Xbox. While scrolling through the interface, we sometimes saw a small hitch. Perhaps it is not purely a coincidence, since the wizard is already an old man, but more on that later. The Xbox cloud streaming app and Nvidia’s Geforce Now app are preinstalled, which is no coincidence, as Logitech collaborated with Nvidia and Microsoft to develop the console. For example, the collaboration with Microsoft G Cloud gave the yellow G button, which does the same “guide,” the Xbox logo button, on a regular Xbox console, Riad said.
In addition to apps from Xbox and Nvidia, Steam Link and the Google Play Store are preinstalled on the G Cloud, so you can also install Android games on them. For Riad, it doesn’t stop there. “We have the opportunity to be very Swiss and neutral and to be able to say we are home to all the game libraries.” With this situation, Logitech hopes to be attractive to other cloud gaming platforms, as they want to support as many as possible, even if they are common competitors.
It’s time to play, because that’s what G Cloud was made for. Unfortunately, we soon finished with that. At first, we started the Xbox app for Forza Horizon 5, which you play via Xbox Game Streaming. Fortunately, FH5 is the type of game that forgives if you make a mistake and even gives you points if you make a mistake. This is exactly what happened. G Cloud was so slow to stream that the game was barely manageable. It wasn’t due to Forza or Xbox, because the same issue was with the Geforce Now app. Fortunately, the opening part of the single-player campaign for Destiny 2 is a tutorial and therefore very easy, but here too slow It is almost unplayable. Did I just set my sights on an enemy, he was already one meter away. I also passed a wall quite often, although I felt like I had pushed the joystick left a long time ago.
Can G Cloud be charged for this? Probably not, because Logitech offered about fifteen G Cloud consoles in the same room and on the same WiFi. These were the big consumers of bandwidth, but they probably weren’t the only devices on Wi-Fi that couldn’t handle the load.
Blaming Wi-Fi entirely is pretty easy, because G Cloud hardware isn’t the latest either. Under the hood of the G Cloud is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G soc, a mid-range processor introduced in 2020. It was, for example, in the Samsung Galaxy A52, a smartphone introduced in March 2021 for just over three hundred euros. So it’s nothing but a great chip, which in itself should be suitable for game streaming, but it doesn’t suit heavier Android games. The relatively small 4GB RAM doesn’t contribute to this either.
Perhaps the most notable option is a network card that supports up to 802.11ac Wi-Fi. G Cloud derives its right to exist from Wi-Fi, but Wi-Fi 6, which has been on the market since 2020 anyway, is not supported. In principle, a bandwidth of 25 Mbit / s is enough for streaming 1080p 60 games, and even the cheapest 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi 5 routers have not yet achieved this, but only when the network becomes busier, Wi-Fi offers Fi – WiFi 6 has many benefits by serving customers more efficiently.
Therefore, a stable and smooth WiFi connection is a requirement to be able to enjoy gaming on G Cloud, which is something most people have at home. But when you’re at home, you can also play on your Xbox or gaming PC. Despite its light weight and compact dimensions, the G Cloud is not intended to be played on the bus or train, so when should you actually use the G Cloud? Finally, we asked this question to Riad and Carter. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a device on the go,” Riad says. It sees G Cloud as a device that you can use in places with a good internet connection; This can be at home if you do not want to sit behind your desk, but also, for example, when traveling and overnighting in a hotel. Although it’s not the primary use case, you can still use G Cloud on the go, if you install Android games on it.
G Cloud will initially launch in North America in October for $349. This means, based on our first impression, a lot of money. The console is nicely finished and feels comfortable in hand, but the parts you don’t see, specifically the soc and wireless network card, are outdated. Our first impression of the game streaming wasn’t positive either, but we’re sure that was due to the crowded Wi-Fi connection. So at the moment we’re not very warm with Logitech’s new handheld cloud gaming, but if we can use it again in the future on a quiet WiFi, G Cloud might be able to convince it.
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