Logitech announced earlier this month that it was working on a handheld console in collaboration with Chinese technology company Tencent. Now photos of the device have leaked. But can this console compete with formidable competition like the Nintendo Switch? Dennis Mons dove in on top of it (and got sentimental).
Handhelds: I love them. Ever since my first GameBoy (with the first game being Tetris, of course) and later the GameGear from Sega, the Atari Lynx, the Neo-Geo Pocket, WonderSwan and many others, among others, I have fallen in love with handheld consoles. Logitech is now getting involved, but does it stand a chance?
Cloud gaming on Logitech’s handheld game console
First things first: Logitech’s handheld is going to focus primarily on cloud gaming. Thus, it supports multiple services such as Nvidia GeForce Now, Google Stadia, Steam and Xbox Cloud Gaming. However, that means you’ll need to be online often.
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Logitech, having never had a product leaked before, apparently panicked at the sudden attention and DMCA’ed that gaming handheld. https://t.co/2ddCmFvvOY
– Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 30, 2022
A bold move by Logitech since there are already a fair number of handhelds that are making significant inroads. Can this Logitech G Gaming compete with these bad boys, including the Nintendo Switch?
#1 Nintendo Switch
There is no question that Nintendo’s handheld is the most popular portable game console right now. Both the “old” version, as well as the OLED version and of course the Nintendo Switch Lite are immensely popular. The Nintendo Switch has sold 111.8 million units worldwide.
The Switch has the great advantage of having very exclusive titles such as the Mario series and of course Zelda. Incidentally, not all of the company’s handhelds were such a success, such as the GameBoy Micro. Still, even that crazy little device turned out to be a cult hit in the end.
Tad too big, but then came the Lite (Image: Alvaro Reyes/Unsplash)
#2 Handheld game console: Steam Deck
A new player on the market is Valve’s Steam Deck. The console can be used as a handheld but can also be connected to a monitor or TV, similar to the Nintendo Switch. Steam Deck is mainly focused on Steam games and runs on Linux (SteamOS). But due to the fact that it is an open platform, a little handy person can run a lot more games on it. It is a pricey toy though: the cheapest Steam Deck costs 419 euros.
Steam Deck: an absolutely powerful monster (Image: Valve)
#3 Notable Nintendo Switch competitor: Apple iPad Air 2022
While not technically a console, the iPad (and especially the lightweight iPad Air) is a popular piece of tech that gets a lot of gaming done. There are countless games in the App Store, but it’s mainly thanks to Apple Arcade that it’s an ideal ‘game console’. For only 4.99 euros per month you get access to over two hundred games, without annoying pop-ups and in-game purchases. Another big advantage: you can simply connect your PlayStation or Xbox controller via Bluetooth.
The iPad Air in beautiful colors (Image: Apple)
#4 Asus ROG Phone 6 as a handheld game console
Again, this isn’t technically a console, but the Asus ROG Phone 6 is completely focused on mobile gaming. Not only is it a powerful beast with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip and (in the most expensive version) with 16GB of Ram memory, there are peripherals as well. So you can easily snap an external cooler and controllers onto your phone. And the fact that it runs mobile games, but also supports streaming gaming like Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud, makes this a formidable competitor to Logitech.
Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro is almost more of a handheld than a phone (Image: Asus)
#5 PlayStation Vita
It is forever a shame that Sony PlayStation stopped developing handhelds. The PlayStation Portable but also certainly the PlayStation Vita were incredibly fine handheld consoles. The latter in particular is still relevant, despite the fact that it came out in 2011. “But why?” you may be asking yourself.
Regardless, the Vita is a pleasant device to play games on, but it is also easy to ‘hack’. This allows you to run ROMs (games) from old consoles like the Atari, Commodore, NES, MegaDrive, Neo-Geo, Vectrex and it even supports N64 and PlayStation 2 games. And that’s a blessing for many gamers like me; Metal Slug 3 on a PS Vita is priceless.
Vita is far from dead if you know what to do (Image: Sony)
Many of the above competitive options Logitech’s new handheld will probably have as well, or be able to handle technically, if you’re a little handy. But if you’re a newcomer Logitech wants to spar with these five “heavy hitters,” you’ll have to try hard.
What the handheld will cost and when it will be released is not known, but it will reportedly be this year.