When we didn’t discover its appearance, which had already been the subject of a leak a few weeks ago, we at least learned its name – and even had the opportunity to take it in hand. It is therefore under the name Logitech G Cloud that we now know the portable gaming console designed specifically for cloud gaming applications by the Swiss manufacturer Logitech in collaboration with Tencent.
The machine running Android is thus equipped with a relatively modest Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor, which one would quickly judge a bit anemic if it was intended to run games “locally”. However, it is more than enough for low-latency video decoding required by streaming gaming. On the other hand, the machine can choose completely passive cooling – that is, without a fan, and thus without noise – all in a rather thin and light chassis: Its 465 g corresponds roughly to a Nintendo Switch OLED. The manufacturer also advertises a very generous autonomy of 12 hours with typical use.
Simplicity over performance
On the screen side, the machine has a 1080p LCD touch panel that refreshes at 60 Hz. One might wonder why the choice fell on these relatively banal specs, ignoring for example an Oled display or even a 120Hz display that could have benefited from 120fps support on Nvidia GeForce Now’s RTX 3080 formula. However, the manufacturer tells us that it has made the conscious choice to focus on the practical aspects of streaming games, rather than performance, in order to offer a machine that is as light and affordable as possible.
It is the same reasoning that also led to the choice of network connection being limited to wifi 802.11ac (with MIMO 2×2), without 4G or 5G, therefore limiting the device to private use. On the other hand, we note the Bluetooth 5.1 compatibility with aptX Adaptive audio codec support, to minimize latency with headphones and earphones that are also compatible.
The console’s Android operating system is topped with a modified interface, obviously to speed up access to the various cloud gaming services as much as possible. The machine also comes with Steam Link, Nvidia GeForce Now, Xbox Console Streaming and Xbox Game Pass apps pre-installed. Logitech says it has worked with the publishers of all these services to ensure seamless integration with console commands.
An interesting concept, but a very limited launch for now
A very quick first grip of the Logitech G Cloud rather convinced us in terms of grip comfort, although its manufacturing does not exude great luxury. On the other hand, we have doubts about the quality of its screen, whose frankly dull colors reminded us of a certain Steam Deck. The very concept of the machine nevertheless remains exciting, insofar as it opens the door to the use of mobile cloud gaming, which would have the huge advantage of not absorbing the autonomy of a mobile phone.
However, Logitech admits that it is not entirely convinced that this proposal will find much support on the consumer side, which is why it is only planning an extremely limited launch at the moment. The console will only launch from October in the US and Canada, in limited quantities. It’s available now for pre-order in those countries for $299 and will rise to $349 when it becomes available. Logitech will then decide in 2023, in light of the results of this trial balloon, what follow-up it will give to the experience.