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The Logitech G Cloud and Shadow are a match made in cloud gaming heaven • londonbusinessblog.com

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It’s time to accept that cloud gaming is the future of gaming. At least for some people and even though Stadia failed. But that group of people is growing every year.

For the past few weeks I’ve been playing video games on a brand new device – the Logitech G Cloud. But my games didn’t really run on the Logitech gaming handheld. Instead I relied on cloud computing service Shadow to play those games.

And I have to say that this experience completely changed my opinion about cloud gaming. Playing on the Logitech G Cloud with Shadow was mostly a smooth experience. More importantly, I’ve had at on fun in the process.

Image Credits: Romain Dillet / londonbusinessblog.com

An Android console designed for cloud gaming

But first, what is the Logitech G Cloud? While you may be familiar with the Nintendo Switch and the Steam Deck, you may not have heard of the Logitech G Cloud.

As you can see from the pictures, if you own a Nintendo Switch and a Steam Deck, Logitech’s device will look familiar. It’s essentially a 7-inch screen surrounded by gamepad-style controls on each side of the screen.

But the comparison stops here because the Logitech G Cloud is not designed to run games natively. It runs Android apps and has mid-range specs at best. Instead, the device is created as a thin client to access cloud gaming services.

That’s why it’s interesting to see that many gamers simply miss the point. For example, this youtube video titled “The G Stands For Garbage” usually mentions emulation achievements and Android games.

Logitech is a manufacturer of peripherals. And the Logitech G Cloud should be considered as such. A peripheral for cloud gaming services. A controller with a display. A physical extension of a server in a data center near you.

Image Credits: Romain Dillet / londonbusinessblog.com

Now that we’ve defined expectations more clearly, I can safely say that Logitech is performing well on its original premise. The device feels great in the hand thanks to the textured, rounded handles. It feels sturdy but is not too heavy.

In my experience with Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, Rocket League, Hitman 3, or Celeste, the buttons work well. Logitech chose the Xbox gamepad layout with A/B/X/Y buttons, two analog joysticks, two analog triggers, two bumper buttons, and haptic feedback. There are a handful of extra buttons to go back home or launch the Xbox overlay menu when playing a game on Xbox Cloud Gaming.

The Logitech G Cloud weighs 463g – that’s about 30% lighter than the Steam Deck and a bit heavier than a Nintendo Switch with Joy-Con controllers attached. I’ve had long gaming sessions with no problems with my hands or forearms.

Under the hood, the Logitech G Cloud has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G system on a chip with 4GB of RAM. There is 64 GB of storage that you can expand with a microSD card. It supports WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers and stereo microphones.

On paper, you get just the right amount of computing power to run cloud gaming services, but nothing extra. But it’s a shame Logitech didn’t choose WiFi 6 over WiFi 5, given the critical latency and internet bandwidth for cloud gaming.

The USB-C port also doesn’t support video output, so you can’t connect the device to a TV. The built-in screen has a 1080p resolution, which is nice, but it doesn’t have a great viewing angle. So you have to stand right in front of the device.

This is all fine and you tend to forget those details when you start playing. But my biggest complaint about the Logitech G Cloud is that it’s not cheap — it costs $350. There are two ways to think about the pricing issue. Logitech products tend to be on the expensive side and it doesn’t seem too expensive when you compare the device to midrange smartphones. But the Nintendo Switch is cheaper and the Steam Deck is just slightly more expensive.

The Logitech G Cloud runs Android 11 with a custom launcher co-developed with Tencent. If you just need to go through your list of most recent apps or favorite apps, it works fine. But it’s still rough around the edges, especially in the settings and notification menus.

I hope Logitech will provide software updates to improve the launcher. If you accidentally bought the Logitech G Cloud to use it as an Android tablet, you can also disable the custom launcher completely and get the standard Android experience.

Image Credits: Romain Dillet / londonbusinessblog.com

running shadow

The Logitech G Cloud comes with a few pre-installed gaming apps, such as Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now for cloud gaming, Steam Link, and the Xbox remote play app in case you already have a gaming PC or PC. have an Xbox console. .

You can also install any app you want from Google Play. For example, I installed the Shadow app to access their cloud computing service.

If you’re not familiar with Shadow, the French company has been working on a cloud computing service for gamers. People can pay a monthly subscription fee to access a full-fledged computer in a data center near them. It’s a Windows instance, which means you can install whatever you want.

Shadow starts at $29.99 per month for a machine with the equivalent of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

On October 26, Shadow will release a high-end configuration. For another $14.99 per month (i.e. $44.98 per month in total), subscribers get an AMD EPYC 7543P CPU with 4 cores and 8 threads, 16 GB of RAM, and a recent GPU, such as an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 or the equivalent GPU in Nvidia’s professional GPU lineup, or a professional AMD Radeon GPU based on the RDNA 2 architecture (AMD Radeon Pro V620) — I have an Nvidia RTX A4000.

I tried Shadow’s Power Upgrade configuration and it worked incredibly well. I played Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered or Hitman 3 without any problem with ultra-quality settings. Load times were great and the visual quality was amazing. For example, I get about 65 frames per second in Spider-Man.

To be fair, since I’ve tried Shadow on the Logitech G Cloud, my games run in 1080p. Modern GPUs are designed to run games in 4K, or at least in 1440p resolution. So the Power Upgrade might be overkill for the Logitech G Cloud.

Steam automatically starts in Big Picture mode by default when I open the Shadow app on the Logitech G Cloud. Sure, Big Picture hasn’t been updated in ages. But it works fine to select and launch a game.

Other launchers are supported, but it’s a bit clunky. You can pinch to zoom and tap with your finger to simulate a mouse click in Windows. I have not tried to install Do not playbut that can also be an option if you want to avoid mouse clicks altogether.

Shadow automatically detects the Logitech G Cloud as a generic Xbox-like controller – no configuration required. The only problem is that the controller vibrations don’t work unfortunately.

At home I have a stable fiber optic connection and the Shadow data center is not too far away. It means I can pick up the Logitech G Cloud, wait about 15 seconds for Windows to boot on my Shadow, launch a game and play.

After a few minutes I forget that the game doesn’t even run locally. And when I stop the game after a while, I realize that I had no problem and that cloud gaming was just… gaming.

I also played several games on Nvidia GeForce Now – Trackmania and Disco Elysium for example. In that case, the experience is even smoother than with Shadow because you don’t see Windows at all. When you press play, the game starts immediately. As long as you play games supported by GeForce Now, the experience is great. But the game library is smaller.

Finally, I tried Xbox Cloud Gaming with games like Fortnite and Forza Horizon 5. It worked fine, but I found GeForce Now to be more responsive. Plus, the service is still limited to 720p, which is disappointing.

When it comes to battery life, the Logitech G Cloud has no fan and doesn’t get hot. Playing for an hour and a half consumes 15 to 20% of your battery. In other words, you don’t have to charge the device every time you put it down. Logitech promises up to 12 hours of cloud gameplay.

I tried taking the Logitech G Cloud on a business trip. The experience was not that good. The hotel wifi was not reliable enough for cloud gaming. The Wi-Fi in the office was okay, but didn’t feel smooth enough for long gaming sessions. I’m not sure I’ll be traveling with the device in the future as it doesn’t seem to be designed for these use cases.

Image Credits: Romain Dillet / londonbusinessblog.com

The early days of cloud gaming

Cloud gaming is still a relatively niche market. But there are many reasons why I think it’s going to change. People think cloud gaming is about playing games on the go. But in my experience, it’s a terrible way to experience cloud gaming.

The gamers most involved are probably those who already own a gaming PC or a recent console. That is why they are also the early adopters of cloud gaming. But most people play games on their phone. According to market research firm newzoothere are 2.8 billion gamers on mobile, 1.4 billion gamers on PC and only 0.9 billion gamers on console.

The reason why Microsoft, Nvidia and Sony are investing so much money in cloud gaming is because it represents a significant growth opportunity. And they need to find a way to lower the barrier to access to major gaming-as-a-service titles.

For example, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is one of the biggest releases of late 2022. Based on gameplay videosit must have cost a small fortune to produce.

Activision wants to put this game in the hands of as many gamers as possible. But a gaming PC is expensive, and there are still supply chain issues for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. If Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through, rest assured that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will be playable. will be on Xbox Cloud Gaming at some point.

As for the subscription interrogation, yes, cloud gaming requires you to pay a subscription. Sometimes an all-in-one subscription includes a game library (Xbox Cloud Gaming), sometimes you just get access to the service (GeForce Now). But millions of gamers are already used to paying subscriptions for Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus.

Cloud gaming will not appeal to everyone. It’s not even going to replace traditional game consoles. And yet in a few years more video games can be played on a cloud gaming service than on a game console.

It’s all about finding the combination that works for you: the right device, the right cloud gaming service, and the right internet connection. And using Shadow on the Logitech G Cloud is definitely an attractive setup.

Image Credits: Romain Dillet / londonbusinessblog.com


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