The G Cloud gaming handheld is a disappointment. When the conditions are right, it works like a dream, because it is more comfortable to use than the Nintendo Switches.
With a good connection to a cloud gaming service, it felt like I was using a portable console or a tiny PC. The rest of the time it is a mediocre device. It isn't enjoyable to use. It's possible to access a huge library of games, but it's not possible to play games on its slow hardware.
When the internet goes down, the G Cloud Gaming Handheld costs as much as a Nintendo Switch, and almost as much as a Steam Deck.
It wouldn't disappear with a lower cost, but it would be easier to recommend to more people, like the work-from- home crowd who always have a good gaming PC and want a comfy handheld to stream their games. That is very good.
It isn't just competing with Nintendo, Valve, OneXPlayer, or GPD, it's competing with the phone or tablets you already own. The marquee apps on this handheld are Xbox Cloud gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now, and they run on almost any device. It is easy to connect a controller that you already own to start playing games.
The G Cloud gaming handheld is a more comfortable way to play cloud games than using a controller and a phone together. I don't think that's a good reason to buy one
It isn't just competing with Nintendo, Valve, or the plethora of other niche handhelds; it's competing with the phone or tablet you already own.
It seems like a perfect match. You pay a subscription fee to get rid of the heavy lifting, instead of shelling out thousands of dollars for a gaming PC or being constrained by the hardware that can fit in the handheld
It isn't as risky to rely on cloud services to hold up your platform as it is to rely on Stadia. The cloud game services that Logitech is banking on are very good, even if you don't have a computer. Game Pass Ultimate subscribers get access to over 200 games from Microsoft studios, as well as access to the cloud gaming service. Many of the PC games you already own on Steam, Epic Games Store, or Ubisoft Connect can be found in one place with the inclusion of free-to-play games, as well as some paid games. The base tier only allows you to stream for one hour. The next tier allows for four-hour sessions at 60 frames per second, which matches the screen of the G Cloud gaming handheld.
The processor has a 4 gigabyte internal storage and a 64 gigabyte eMMC expandable storage.
The G Cloud gaming handheld can be used to play PC games you already own. You can use the Steam Link app to stream games from your PC to anywhere in the world as long as it's on and running Steam. If you own a PC with an Nvidia graphics card, I highly recommend you try out the free open-source app, which is a good looking, responsive gaming experience. Good networking hardware is required to have an enjoyable session with both Steam Link and Moonlight.
Sony's PS Remote Play app can be used to stream games from your PS4 or PS5 but it doesn't recognize the G Cloud gaming handheld. If you want to use this handheld instead of your phone, you need to tether a dualShock 4 or a dualsense to your phone.
The G Cloud Gaming Handheld has a D-Pad on the left instead of four separate buttons and is similar to the Nintendo Switch. A satisfying level of travel can be achieved with clicky shoulder buttons. The layout, comfort, and design of the inputs were done by the company. It would be great if it were available in other colors than white with yellow accents.
There is a little explanation for the home and yellow G buttons. When you press home, you will see a shade of settings, like brightness and volume, that are quick to set. Sometimes the G button is useful. In the cloud gaming app, pressing it will bring up the home interface to show what your friends are up to, to check achievements, or to quit a game. It is useless in-game during a cloud session if I press it.
The console has a 3.5mm headphone jack on top of it. The headphones are better than the speakers. You can either use wired headphones or use a wireless audio transmitter. The only things that can be delivered from theusb-c port are charging, data connection, and audio pass through.
The G Cloud gaming handheld does not have cellular capabilities. A bunch of phones released outside of the US are powered by the same mid-range chip that was announced in 2020. It is fast enough to launch apps, load new pages in the Play Store, and run games that don't require a lot of resources. The majority of graphically intensive games are slow. Every time you open a new app, it asks you to close the old one, which is disappointing.
64 gigabytes of storage is built in, and it supports expansion. The battery life is up to the claims of the company. It is cool to spend an hour playing a game on a handheld without taking a huge bite out of the battery life.
The seven-inch display is the same size as the one on the Steam Deck and Switch console, though the panel is not as good as anOLED. In the right conditions, games look great; small text is legible, and graphics don't look like they're being masked. Dark environments and objects are prone to visual gradation. It was a good experience, but I sometimes forgot that I was playing games on a remote server, with only a few moments when the image quality was bad. If you can handle the public embarrassment of holding the handheld in portrait mode to navigate, then streaming video is a great idea. It was strange to watch Cyberpunk: Edgerunners on the subway, but it worked.
There is a custom interface for the phone. The apps are in horizontal tiles across the screen. A permanent spot for a favorite app can be created by hitting the options button on the top right side of the handheld. The software has two color schemes and a background that is pretty strong. It is fairly basic. You will get the same set of default apps on every device that supports the play store.
You don't go far beyond the surface when it comes to hiding the fact that you're using anAndroid tablets. It makes you go to a very plain settings interface for more in-depth options, which is odd. The handheld hides notifications in a setting called "Messages" instead of letting you get notifications.
There are two versions of the software behind it.
It needs the most recent updates to stay safe. It is frustrating that there are two versions of the same thing. Its security patches are old. The June 5th, 2022, security update is the only one it has yet. There will be a Day One patch that addresses this.
The G Cloud gaming handheld is designed to stream games from the cloud, but I wanted to see how the game would run on my phone. It took an hour to launch because it was so slow at updating. The graphics are capped at 30 frames per second once in the game. It was worse than it was through the cloud. Genshin Impact could run at a steady 25 frames per second, but it was a subpar visual experience, and it didn't recognize the handheld's dedicated controls
You need a strong and reliable 5 GHz wi-fi connection to stream gaming. I mostly played the G Cloud gaming handheld at home because it was 10 feet away from the internet provider's wireless network. I still experienced occasional blips in the image quality, but my internet connection was much larger than required. I had a good time. It felt like I was playing a portable console when I got into the game.
If you want to stream games with the free tier, you need a download speed of at least 15 Mbps. You need to be close to the data center. If you make a free account and install the app on any platform, you can run a network test. You can play games on the cloud gaming platform with a high-speed internet connection. If you have a data cap, you should know that the automatic quality streaming mode uses a lot of data.
I was curious to see if I could play Slime Rancher 2 while my phone was connected to a 5G signal in Manhattan. The visual fidelity looked great, but the network was much slower than when I used it at home. You shouldn't expect to play fast-paced games over the internet.
The quirky inner workings of cloud game instances can be seen even when the internet is perfect. Cyberpunk 2077 requires you to button-press through a number of pre-launch windows. I have had a graphics card that hangs when it tries to boot a game from steam. I had to use the maximize button on a minimized window before I could play the game. Some people might get stuck in a rut because of the issues on this handheld. Some of the time, things might not go as planned. Launching games from Microsoft's cloud gaming service was much easier.
The $350 price of this handheld makes it limited in many ways. It is not fun to use unless you are connected to the internet. The vision for a cloud gaming handheld made sense when the conditions were right. The design of the games is better on the Switch. Life with this device is good if you have good wi-fi.
Even though I love playing games everywhere I go, I can't accept the $350 price for a device that won't work for me.
Cameron Faulkner is a photographer.
Every smart device has a set of terms and conditions that you have to agree to before you can use it. It is not possible for us to read and analyze all of them. We started counting the number of times you have to agree to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people can't negotiate.
In order to use the G Cloud gaming handheld, you must agree to the following.
You must read and agree with the privacy policies of the companies you are connected to.
If you don't sign in to your account during setup, you won't be able to download applications from the Play Store. You will need to sign in with your account.
You agree that this device may also automatically download and install updates and apps from your carrier, and your device's manufacturer.
There are some agreements that are optional.
Allow apps and services to scans for nearby devices even when the internet isn't available. If you agree, you will be able to send usage and diagnostic data to the company.
At least six optional agreements are included in the final tally.