I'm very impressed with Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming, which makes Game Pass – already a bargain – even more useful. But as much as it's fun to play Xbox games on a tablet or phone, when it comes to mobile gaming there's no substitute for a dedicated handheld. So I'm excited to see Logitech's collaboration with Tencent, which will create a cloud gaming handheld console not just for Game Pass, but for multiple cloud gaming services. This could be tons of fun: a Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch for the cloud.
As Engadget reports (opens in new tab), the system will be on sale later this year and will "support multiple cloud gaming services". That includes Microsoft and NVIDIA, so even if those are the only two platforms supported it's going to have access to a massive library of games.
What we know about the Logitech G Gaming Handheld
In all honesty, not a lot: Logitech only has a landing page (opens in new tab) where you can hand over your email for early access to any news. And while the semiconductor shortage is improving we're not out of the woods yet – so that late-2022 launch could prove to be overly optimistic. But cloud gaming isn't anywhere near as demanding as local gaming in terms of hardware, because all the heavy lifting is done in the cloud. At the risk of oversimplifying it, it's not really much more demanding than streaming a Netflix movie. That means the Logitech handset may not need to source the same cutting-edge and in-demand components as the best phones, best tablets and best laptops are currently hoovering up.
I don't think we're quite at the tipping point for cloud gaming just yet – for the best gaming experience at home I'll always want to install the game on my Xbox Series X or PS5 – but mobile, cloud-based gaming is getting better and better as our WiFi networks, and in some places (but not where I live) our mobile coverage, gets ever faster and more responsive. And because it's less demanding on the hardware, that should mean the consoles get cheaper, too.
I think for many gamers, the future looks cloudy. We've already seen Xbox gaming come to some of the best Samsung TVs, and the prospect of multi-service handhelds is also pretty exciting. I don't think consoles are going anywhere soon, but more options and more platforms mean gaming can reach more people across many more devices. That can only be a good thing.