The G Cloud Gaming Handheld is coming out in the US on October 17th and is currently $50 off to pre-order. I had to try it out today. It was just a 10-minute demo, but it was long enough for me to take a few pictures, launch some apps, and see how it felt in my hands. We will have a full review in the near future.
I arrived at the testing station and Deathloop was streaming to my phone through the cloud gaming app. I still had to sprint and jump around even though it was not an action sequence. It wasn't a fun killer, like all of my experiences with cloud game streaming, but there was a whiff of input lag that made it hard to ignore. The buttons of the G Cloud feel good. The game's dark environments looked a little fuzzy on its seven-inch1080pIPS panel, but it's hard to say how much can be blamed on a congested wi-fi network.
It wasn't the case when I switched to the game. It was painless to exit the game pass and get into the new app. If you have a baseline expectation for speed in a handheld, I think you will be impressed with how responsive the performance and interface navigation feel, even if you're coming from a steam deck. At its best, the G Cloud gaming handheld looks better and runs better than it does on the Switch, but that depends on your network's ability to support it. It is possible to get actual Fortnite loaded onto this device and not worry about the cloud aspect. I don't know how well it would run with its 2nd and 3rd generation processors.
I spent the rest of my time with the G Cloud gaming handheld getting lost in the app, which feels ripped out of the Honeycomb days, even though the unit that I tested was runningANDROID 11 It is easy to find all of your apps, aside from the ones that are focused on gaming. When you look at your full app library, you can click a face button that leads you to the Play Store, where you can download almost anything. The user interface was trying for a vibe that wasn't quite right for me.
The handheld is comfortable to hold. The built-in grips give a good amount of palm support, and the textured plastic around its back and on thetrigger is nice. I would rather lose a few hours playing games on this than on the switch. There is a jack on the bottom for headphones and a port for charging. I asked if it could support pushing video out to external monitors, but it couldn't. There is a sleep switch on the left side of the rail and you can power it down through the software. Next to the right shoulder buttons there is a microSD card slot.
It took me no time at all to feel that this is a device that I want to spend more time testing. Spending time with it didn't make me a fan of its retail price. You have to buy into the services that you want to use to play games. The cost increases from there.
It's difficult to underplay the value of the other popular handheld consoles, including the more capable $299 Switch that can connect to a TV. If you want to play PC games on the go, the Steam Deck is a good option. The G Cloud Gaming Handheld could be a hit, even though it's not readily available for purchase. It will have to be seen.