Having a (relatively) small device that can play basically any big game on it is a cool idea, and it’s what I like about Valve’s Steam Deck. But the Deck can be a bit bulky, and its battery just doesn’t last sometimes. Additionally, it doesn’t work easily with Xbox Game Pass. So the idea of a new, smaller handheld dedicated to streaming Game Pass and Xbox titles sounds great! However, at $300 it seems overpriced in a world where the Steam Deck and Switch OLED exist at around the same price point.
Announced today by Microsoft and Logitech, the new G Cloud handheld game console is a small Android-powered device built around streaming video games. 10 years ago this would have seemed like a strange idea. But today you can stream virtually any game across most platforms with enough tinkering. The idea behind this new G Cloud device is to cut out the tinkering and modding and give players a simple, fast and lightweight way to stream all the great games on Game Pass.
First, the positives. The new Android device claims to have extended battery life, probably due to the fact that it only streams games and doesn’t run them natively. It boasts a solid 1080p 7-inch touchscreen, built-in controls, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a button-and-stick layout similar to an Xbox controller. I also really like the look of the device. It’s a bit smaller than Steam Deck, which should be nice for people with smaller hands.
But here’s the problem: the price. Currently you can pre-order the G Cloud at $300 which is pretty high considering it’s basically a fancy Android phone with built-in controls, a bigger battery and no ability to make phone calls. It does have support for the Google Play Store, so presumably mobile games and apps will work on it. And because it’s based on Android, it will be basically modifiable from day one. But still, $300 for it seems high.
And that’s just for now. Once it’s out on October 17th, the price jumps to $350, which is the same price as a new Switch OLED and only $50 less than a 64GB Steam deck. Now, it’s true that the Switch can’t stream the whole thing Game Pass Librarybut with a little tinkering, the Steam Deck can actually, while also playing (most) of your Steam games.
When I first saw the G Cloud on Twitter, I was intrigued. A small device dedicated to Android apps and Xbox Game Pass cloud streaming could be nice to have. But only for like…$200. At the current price I would recommend people to buy a new phone, an external controller for their current phone or a steam deck instead.