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Cloud Gaming Handhelds (inc Logitech G, Razer Edge)


Paulando
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This has been rumoured before now, but there are some firm details on it.

 

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https://9to5google.com/2022/08/29/logitech-g-gaming-handheld-leaks/

 

I’m surprised none of the big players have tried this before, although I suppose cloud gaming has only recently become a viable way to play stuff.

 

I’m actually all in for something like this. Chinese manufacturers have been doing this stuff for a while, but they all seem to miss some key feature (analog triggers, L3/R3, a decent screen), or they’re just impossible to get hold of (Ayn Odin).

 

The Steam Deck is great and all, but it is massive, and the cloud gaming options feel a bit janky at the moment. Also feels a bit wrong to be streaming on hardware powerful enough to run its own games, I dunno?

 

You can also use your phone to do this stuff - I have a Razer Kishi for my iPhone, and while it all works brilliantly, taking the case off and fitting it in, making sure it’s in DND mode so you don’t get interrupted etc etc is a bit of a pain. Just enough of a pain to stop me from doing it all that often.

 

I like the shape of this, seems to have all the controls, and it has a nice large display. And I just love gaming on a handheld. Getting this out to play some Game Pass and/or PS Remote Play in bed would be ace. OLED would be the absolute deal closer, mind.

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It all comes down to price, at the end of the day. Hopefully the loosening of global chain supply means getting a Snapdragon G3X in there for a reasonable sum, but who knows at this point with inflation.

 

I'm sure this had been bandied about in the retro handhelds thread in the other subforum, but I think I'd still rather go with a Retroid Pocket 3 or Ayn Odin just for streaming. I got a Poco F3 just to play Genshin at an acceptable framerate, but it's very toasty doing it to the point where I'd want a Razer Kishi or similar, but that's further expense.

 

ARM chips are very capable mind, considering how X86 emulation like Exagear performed before Huawei bought it up.

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27 minutes ago, Paulando said:

39772747-49F3-4317-9727-411FFD2B081A.thumb.jpeg.60206216f4cc643b17ad9482b4e0bf20.jpeg

 

This thing looks like the monitor I got for free from my energy company to record my usage. Horrible.

 

I mentioned in the Steam Deck thread the other day that I was surprised MS haven't made a dedicated cloud/wi-fi handheld yet, and the response was along the lines of 'Why should they bother when a slew of other manufacturers are doing it anyway?' I get that, but those other manufacturers making other handhelds is still a pretty niche market with a small audience (even the Steam Deck). I still think that an 'official' MS handheld with the Xbox logo on it, and an aggressive advertising campaign that shows how simple it is to use and how you can play your Game Pass games on the go, would be successful. I'd call it the Xbox Cloud Cast™. But then I don't get to make decisions at one of the most successful tech companies in the world.

 

They would still need to sort out the quick resume/resuming from standby thing, though, and I'm not sure how they get around that, apart from keeping every user's space on their server free at all times, which doesn't seem sustainable.

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4 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

I mentioned in the Steam Deck thread the other day that I was surprised MS haven't made a dedicated cloud/wi-fi handheld yet, and the response was along the lines of 'Why should they bother when a slew of other manufacturers are doing it anyway?' I get that, but those other manufacturers making other handhelds is still a pretty niche market with a small audience (even the Steam Deck). I still think that an 'official' MS handheld with the Xbox logo on it, and an aggressive advertising campaign that shows how simple it is to use and how you can play your Game Pass games on the go, would be successful. I'd call it the Xbox Cloud Cast™. But then I don't get to make decisions at one of the most successful tech companies in the world.

 

It's more the big picture than anything else - Would Microsoft spend R&D and manufacturing to fabricate a portable device to play Game Pass, when they can flog Game Pass via an app on phones and Smart TVs? I don't like touch controls as much as the next capital G gamer, but the barrier of entry is zero to get people signed up.

 

Although saying that, I do recall something about Microsoft lashing together a dongle for dumb TVs soon, although there's justification for that vs. any phone in the last handful of years that can play recent streaming codecs and a reliable Bluetooth connection for a controller you can slap to it.

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An ipad with controller of choice seems to do the job perfectly well.

My son took my ipad + PS5 controller with him when he went with my wife to visit her family for 4 weeks.

Was able to play the PS5 and use geforce now remotely.

 

The initial connection to the PS5 was a bit hit and miss, as I'd need to start it up  most of the time for him to be able to connect - even though i'd set all the relevant settings on the PS5 for it to be wakable remotely. 

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24 minutes ago, Siri said:

It's more the big picture than anything else - Would Microsoft spend R&D and manufacturing to fabricate a portable device to play Game Pass, when they can flog Game Pass via an app on phones and Smart TVs? I don't like touch controls as much as the next capital G gamer, but the barrier of entry is zero to get people signed up

 

There's still an amount of friction to that sort of setup which is enough to put off most people, though: having to turn the device on, connect the controller, sign into the app, reload the game you want to play, etc. Even having to reload the game each time from the Steam Deck is almost too much for me, and I'm part of that niche, enthusiast market I mentioned.

 

A pick-up-and-play handheld device, with a built-in controller, quick resume, no lagging or hitching, that you can take with you, and which only requires a stable internet connection to work, is the dream. Something with 4/5G, so you can use it without wi-fi, perhaps as part of your Game Pass Ultimate sub, would be even better. I'd buy one.

 

As for R&D, I'm oversimplifying it, obviously, but a purely cloud-based device is essentially a controller with a monitor and network adapter built in, isn't it? It's not like they'd have to worry about storage or having an especially powerful APU, like in the Steam Deck - just something that was powerful enough to be able to display whatever was being streamed to it from the MS servers. I don't really know what I'm talking about here, though, but if I was MS I'd make it, flog it for less than $100, advertise it on everything going, and add a few more billions to the pile. It'd be a Switch-killer for sure :sherlock:

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I don't think it's accurate to say this has been rumoured before now seeing as Logitech announced the product, including the partnership with Tencent and the hope it'll launch this year as well as a mailing list you can sign up to for updates at the start of August. 

 

When they announced it the focus on cloud gaming made me assume it'd be a low powered device. The possibility of it shipping with something fairly beefy like a G3X never really crossed my mind. I'd also assumed it'd have a very limited set of pre-installed apps on it even though it was probably going to be Android based. Access to the Google Play Store didn't seem like that'd be on the table without having to do some sort of modding or hackery. 

 

I signed up for the mailing list for the sake of it but I'm more interested now after seeing those pictures even though it not looks like being a more expensive product than I was imagining. 

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54 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

This thing looks like the monitor I got for free from my energy company to record my usage. Horrible.


:lol:
 

It’s fiiiiiine. I mean, it looks comfortable enough and the button layout is decent. As long as it has a decent display I don’t really care what it looks like.

 

And yep, you can do any of this with a phone + controller (which are generally £50-£100 anyway), or an iPad + controller. I played quite a bit of Outer Wilds on my iPad and it was fine, nice to carry on playing it while my wife was watching TV, but it was pretty cumbersome.

 

I just love the idea of an all-in-one handheld for this stuff.

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3 minutes ago, bear said:

I don't think it's accurate to say this has been rumoured before now seeing as Logitech announced the product, including the partnership with Tencent and the hope it'll launch this year as well as a mailing list you can sign up to for updates at the start of August. 


Ahh, didn’t realise it was all official, I apologise for the factual inaccuracies. I think this is the first time we’ve seen something of it though?
 

4 minutes ago, bear said:

When they announced it the focus on cloud gaming made me assume it'd be a low powered device. The possibility of it shipping with something fairly beefy like a G3X never really crossed my mind.


Is the G3X fairly powerful then? Would a decent level of emulation be possible on that?

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I could see Microsoft getting into this actually. Albeit their phone line flopped badly, they are really big in hardware these days, in the form of the Surface range. A mobile, streaming-capable, dedicated gaming device wouldn’t be unthinkable for a company with a similar existing business and a strong desire to sell streaming subscriptions. 
 

They’ll let others lay the groundwork and then swoop in when it’s proven to be a reliable source of revenue. Their chequebook has taken such a battering recently it doesn’t seem likely they’ll start investing more money in an unproven market just yet. 

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1 hour ago, Paulando said:


Ahh, didn’t realise it was all official, I apologise for the factual inaccuracies. I think this is the first time we’ve seen something of it though?
 


Is the G3X fairly powerful then? Would a decent level of emulation be possible on that?

I don't think the original announcement got much attention beyond a few "lol Stadia" comments because it was never mentioned in a product announcement for a device where support for cloud gaming was it's big selling point. 

 

The only device out there with a G3X inside it is a big chunky reference device made by Razer and Qualcomm so there's not much in the way of reliable benchmarks. Based on what is out there then I'd expect this should emulate PS2 and Wii at 2x native resolution without major issues if the cooling in this thing is anyways decent. 3x if it's good. 

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On 30/08/2022 at 11:54, Popo said:

I could see Microsoft getting into this actually. Albeit their phone line flopped badly, they are really big in hardware these days, in the form of the Surface range. A mobile, streaming-capable, dedicated gaming device wouldn’t be unthinkable for a company with a similar existing business and a strong desire to sell streaming subscriptions. 
 

They’ll let others lay the groundwork and then swoop in when it’s proven to be a reliable source of revenue. Their chequebook has taken such a battering recently it doesn’t seem likely they’ll start investing more money in an unproven market just yet. 

 

The Surface division primarily makes upmarket expensive devices. Cloud gaming, if you want it to be mainstream, like Microsoft state they do has the exact opposite requirements. The entire Cloud gaming idea is about reducing the barrier to entry to as low as possible. Having to buy an expensive device which is otherwise an expensive paperweight when not gaming seems entirely doing it wrong, unlike the standard mobile smartphone, which is the default all-in-one computing and communications device for a significant portion of the global population.

 

The Logitech G Gaming Handheld being based on the 720G means it can natively play Android games fine so if you really like mobile gaming, fill yer boots. Adreno 618 isn't exactly amazing but it isn't a low-end device chip so this is going to cost a few hundred I'd suspect, given the lower manufacturing volumes compared to phones.

 

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41 minutes ago, mushashi said:

 

The Surface division primarily makes upmarket expensive devices. Cloud gaming, if you want it to be mainstream, like Microsoft state they do has the exact opposite requirements. The entire Cloud gaming idea is about reducing the barrier to entry to as low as possible. Having to buy an expensive device which is otherwise an expensive paperweight when not gaming seems entirely doing it wrong, unlike the standard mobile smartphone, which is the default all-in-one computing and communications device for a significant portion of the global population.

 

The Logitech G Gaming Handheld being based on the 720G means it can natively play Android games fine so if you really like mobile gaming, fill yer boots. Adreno 618 isn't exactly amazing but it isn't a low-end device chip so this is going to cost a few hundred I'd suspect, given the lower manufacturing volumes compared to phones.

 


Thats only because they’re relatively new in the market and they have a streamlined offering. Actually the Surface range is pretty middle-of-the-road as far as laptops go - and actually they do offer a cheaper student-focused range now as well - but all that means is Microsoft know how to focus a product on a target market. All I’m saying is they know devices and they use them to sell their cloud services. 

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I sort of see the point but then I think that, assuming you’re a gamer to begin with, you’re basically just buying another screen and you probably have at least one you can attach a controller too, be it a tablet or a phone. Is it doing anything an iPhone and a Backbone can’t do already?

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I like the idea generally although obviously it be nice if just a Switch could do it.

 

A second phone in one of those controllers might be pretty much the same but it shouldn't be as good as a device dedicated that's also capable of playing Android games. It can do little things like use a landscape home screen by default.

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5 minutes ago, thesnwmn said:

A second phone in one of those controllers might be pretty much the same


I’ve tried this, but honestly it feels super janky. The screens tend to be wider than 16:9 too so you have these huge black bars either side, plus I couldn’t figure out how to get a decent console-like front end.

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30 minutes ago, Paulando said:


I’ve tried this, but honestly it feels super janky. The screens tend to be wider than 16:9 too so you have these huge black bars either side, plus I couldn’t figure out how to get a decent console-like front end.

 

This doesn't surprise me. I was just trying to be polite to anyone who already does this and things it's an acceptable experience 😅

 

I mean someone just said a tablet and a controller was basically the same as this device. Insanity 🙂

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4 hours ago, thesnwmn said:

 

This doesn't surprise me. I was just trying to be polite to anyone who already does this and things it's an acceptable experience 😅

 

I mean someone just said a tablet and a controller was basically the same as this device. Insanity 🙂


I said iPhone and a backbone, which has an app providing a front end of sorts, allowing captures, broadcast, library arranging and so on.

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18 hours ago, Popo said:


Thats only because they’re relatively new in the market and they have a streamlined offering. Actually the Surface range is pretty middle-of-the-road as far as laptops go - and actually they do offer a cheaper student-focused range now as well - but all that means is Microsoft know how to focus a product on a target market. All I’m saying is they know devices and they use them to sell their cloud services. 

 

I think the bigger problem is it addresses a problem that doesn't really exist for Microsoft. The Xbox division is still required to provide the basis of the Cloud gaming platform and get game support and they are willing to do Gamer Welfare for that division with the hardware, but making dedicated Cloud gaming hardware seems addressing a niche need, when the dream is to sell monthly subscriptions to literally Billions of consumers with already existing hardware, which is a debatable idea in and of itself anyway.

 

 

Reading the PR from Logitech when they announced this, it seems they are doing the manufacturing and selling of the hardware while Tencent have provided the software side of the partnership. Seems a device more aimed at countries where people actually like playing Tencent's mobile shooters and high-end dedicated gaming devices are prohibitively expensive.

 

The concept Razer/Qualcomm G3x developer kit, which should have been commercialised by now sounds awfully expensive. High-end SoC and 120Hz OLED screen and Razer margins = more expensive than any console.

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I do think a dedicated cloud gaming handheld is a good idea, but I also think it's a bit niche. That said, I also think the same of phone add-ons like the Kishi. There's probably a reason that RRPs at £100, and it certainly doesn't feel like it's worth two Xbox pads.

 

I do own a 1st gen Kishi and used it a little, but then I bought a new phone and it turned out I'd need to buy a 2nd gen Kishi as the first didn't fit any more. Part of the point of cloud gaming for me is that you shouldn't need to upgrade anything ever again.

 

I've really enjoyed using my Steam Deck for Xcloud though, and I think the dream would definitely be for Microsoft to somehow get the service onto the Switch. It will never happen, obviously, but it does feel they need to get onto an existing mass market gaming handheld for the service to really take off. Smart TVs may be a step in the right direction.

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According to Microsoft, their potential target market is 3 Billion gamers (I think it started at a lower number when they first talked about it, but that is the most recent one they choose to use) so mobile phones is the only way in hell you are going to to get anywhere at all close to a fraction of that potential customer base via streaming. Dedicated consoles do barely a 10th of that userbase, and I'd bet the vast majority of existing dedicated console owners aren't particularly interested in an objectively inferior streaming powered experience, otherwise why else are they buying dedicated gaming hardware in the first place?

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14 minutes ago, mushashi said:

According to Microsoft, their potential target market is 3 Billion gamers (I think it started at a lower number when they first talked about it, but that is the most recent one they choose to use) so mobile phones is the only way in hell you are going to to get anywhere at all close to a fraction of that potential customer base via streaming. Dedicated consoles do barely a 10th of that userbase, and I'd bet the vast majority of existing dedicated console owners aren't particularly interested in an objectively inferior streaming powered experience, otherwise why else are they buying dedicated gaming hardware in the first place?

 

Obviously mobiles need to be in the mix to reach that audience but that doesn't exclude the window for a wide range of devices from a range of manufactures.

 

Phones always strike me as exactly where I don't want to do lots of gaming (outside of some puzzle time filling). My phone is important to me. A dead battery is a major issue. Notifications popping over my game or having to be off is unworkable in many situations.

 

I realise that like the camera they do have the "always with you" bonus. But once I'm being asked to strap it into a controller holder thing then I might as well have a portable.

 

And I guess then it's just are there situations where it's better than a Switch or a SteamDeck for the individual.

 

If the battery life is good enough. The performance okay for some local stuff too. And the price attractive enough. Then I can see a world that this or something like it has a market. Not a big one maybe but if it's primarily off the shelf hardware they can add slightly better chips to over the years maybe there's the beginning of Android as the base of s gaming platform.

 

(I mean I think this will be a failure, or at least a quickly and quietly dropped line because I agree it's probably too niche and they'll end up in this weird.world where only a subset of the services and games actually work on it).

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  • 3 weeks later...
18 minutes ago, Mogster said:

That's too much. It does look like a decent product, especially if that 12 hour battery life proves correct, but if you're spending that sort of money why wouldn't you just get a Steam Deck or something?

 

Because the battery life and size makes it a much much much more portable device.

 

But yes, a bit too much money I think

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