Ever-present PC accessory maker Logitech is ready to enter the portable gaming world. Well, almost ready—the G Cloud, an Android-based game player that focuses on streaming PC games, is set to release on October 18. So sayeth an Amazon store listing that unceremoniously popped up just today, with a list price of $299.99 after a $50 discount. You can order it. Right now. Go ahead, if you wanna.
The G Cloud is an interesting take on portable gaming, something closer to the original Nvidia SHIELD than Valve’s more recent Steam Deck. Despite running on Android 11—and thus having access to a bajillion or so mobile games on the Google Play Store—Logitech is positioning this device as almost entirely devoted to game streaming. Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now are both heavily featured in the marketing, as is player-friendly control-mapping. (Google probably isn’t thrilled that a device using its own operating system for gaming shows no mention of the Stadia cloud gaming platform, though Steam Link gets a mention.)
Logitech does point out the Play Store in passing, but only as a means of downloading even more cloud gaming services. Other hardware features include a 7-inch, 1080p, 60Hz screen, a Snapdragon 720G (a two-year-old mid-range mobile processor seen on phones like the Galaxy A52), but no mention of RAM or storage space (beyond an SD card expansion) on Logitech’s site. The context: This thing is REALLY meant for streaming and not much else, despite a lack of mobile broadband. You’ll have to stick to Wi-Fi and like it.
Logitech is hyping up the gadget’s 12-hour battery life and lightweight build, just 463 grams (almost precisely a pound). That’s more than half a pound lighter than the Steam Deck, and more than double the battery life. It compares pretty favorably with Nintendo’s Switch on those points, too.
But that’s where the favorable part of the comparison ends. With games limited to streaming and (maybe?) some local Android titles, the library versus the Switch or the Steam Deck’s will be pretty desperately wanting. (And remember, the Steam Deck can stream everything the G Cloud can.) Even at a discounted price of $300, I can’t see many gamers choosing this over Nintendo’s curated experience at the same price, or Valve’s more powerful PC-based hardware for just a bit more. Emulation junkies might be interested, but there’s already a cavalcade of cheap portable game machines they can choose from.
We’ll have to wait for the G Cloud’s launch to see if it can make a more compelling case for itself. At least it won’t be a very long wait.