Cloud-based gaming laptops are already on the way, but who are they for?

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Little by little, cloud gaming has been making a name for itself in recent years. Admittedly, it’s in a bit of a strange situation right now, with Google’s recent announcement that it will be shutting down its ambitious game streaming service Stadia early next year. But while there are many reasons Stadia failed, the concept and viability of cloud gaming was not one of them. As games get bigger and take up more space on your console or PC’s internal storage, the ability to launch and stream one of those blockbuster games instantly, on almost any screen with a Wi-Fi connection, becomes increasingly common. more attractive. And even without Stadia, Xbox’s Cloud Gaming, Sony’s PS Now, Nvidia’s GeForce Now, and Amazon’s Luna are still up and running, with tens of millions of registered users between them.

There’s no doubt that cloud gaming has a future, which is why we’re seeing the first of a wave of portable devices specifically for cloud gaming that are about to arrive. The first is Logitech’s G Cloud, which goes on sale on October 18. The big question, however, is Who exactly are these devices for?

G Cloud is an interesting device with a 7-inch screen and slightly larger dimensions than a Nintendo Switch, but also seems a bit redundant– Why do we need a dedicated piece of hardware that, for the most part, only runs games from cloud services (it can also play Android games locally) when one of the biggest selling points of that technology is that can you use your existing laptop, smart TV, tablet or smartphone to play without having to buy a console for between 250 and 550 euros?

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“G CLOUD changes the gaming landscape by putting the best of cloud gaming, including advanced graphics and libraries of hit games, in the hands of gamers, freeing them to play what they want, where they want,” Derek Pérez has declared to IGN, responsible for communication at Logitech. “If you’re a cloud gaming subscriber or thinking about gaming in the cloud, and want to be able to ‘retreat’ to your own space to play your favorite games for extended periods of time, G Cloud gives you that relaxing, immersive experience.” “Perez said. (Note that G Cloud requires a WiFi connection)

Logitech claims 12 hours of battery life, which is impressive for any handheld gaming device.

So while smartphones seem like the most convenient way to use cloud gaming on the go, the counterargument is that maybe you don’t want to drain your phone’s battery playing, especially if you don’t have a charger handy. Logitech claims the G Cloud’s battery lasts for 12 hours, which sounds impressive for any handheld gaming device; By comparison, the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck will only give you a couple of hours of life while playing intensive games. Logitech also claims that the G Cloud won’t get hot to the touch after a long session, something that can’t be said for the Steam Deck (despite its fan, which the G Cloud doesn’t have) or most phones.

But even those arguments seem weak at around $350 for a single-use wearable when smartphones can do everything the G Cloud does and more, without having to carry a separate phone and device around. parts. If phone battery drain is an issue, buying a power bank is a much cheaper option than a $350 wearable, and controller accessories like the Razer Kishi and Backbone One offer a port that allows charge the phone while playing. It’s true that a phone with peripherals isn’t as fancy as a fancy device built for this specific purpose, but it does the same job for a lot less money. It’s leave only G Cloud’s seven-inch 1080p display as an advantage that the phone cannot easily match.

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Asked if Logitech sees handheld devices like the Steam Deck as competition for G Cloud. “Right now, we don’t think there’s a device that it can be compared to,” Perez told me. “Each device on the market today has its place in the market. This is an option for gamers who are subscribed to cloud gaming or considering cloud gaming.” That may be true for now, though Razer has recently teased that it’s working on a dedicated cloud gaming handheld.

But to answer the question of who specifically these devices are aimed at, they seem to be designed to appeal to a particular group (and probably small) of people. It’s for those who want to play high-end games on a comfortable handheld console for long periods of time without having to plug in to charge, but don’t mind being within range of fast Wi-Fi either. $350 may be a steep price, but if you want to bet on a future of cloud gaming rather than buying a new Xbox or PlayStation console, it might not be a bad investment. Still, that’s likely to be a small slice of the gamers’ pie graph for the foreseeable future, at least, and even someone who enjoys the benefits of cloud gaming doesn’t necessarily need a dedicated device for that purpose.