Tencent partners with Logitech G on cloud-powered handheld console

When the Nintendo Switch leapfrogged the Wii earlier this year to become the company’s best-selling console in its storied history, it not only demonstrated Nintendo’s remarkable ability to continue engaging its base with its intellectual properties, but it also proved that a handheld gaming offering is still highly appealing to the masses. We’ve seen this again more recently with the warm reception to Valve’s handheld PC gaming machine, the Steam Deck. Now, leading gaming accessories firm Logitech is aiming to capitalize on this trend in partnership with the world’s biggest gaming company, Tencent. The two have announced plans for a new device to “advance handheld cloud gaming.”

The Logitech G division and Tencent Games will be actively supporting both Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now rather than actively pursuing its own branded cloud gaming service. Specific details on the cloud-powered console, including specifications and price have yet to be revealed. Logitech is aiming for a release later this year and likely will offer more concrete details in the coming months.

Thanks in part to the rise of Xbox Game Pass (which includes cloud gaming with the Ultimate tier), cloud gaming has been on the rise, with nearly a quarter of the US gaming population expressing interest, according to Interpret data. That said, there are still numerous hurdles for the Logitech G handheld to clear. Not only does it face the same constraints as any cloud service (limited and/or inconsistent broadband across the country), but it’s raison d’être is to offer a device with access to numerous cloud gaming services, which is easily achieved with any modern smartphone when paired with a solid controller attachment like the Razer Kishi or Backbone.

For Tencent, the partnership would seem to align with the company’s continued overseas business expansion in light of the challenging domestic market in China. It’s not clear if Tencent and Logitech have any plans to release the cloud handheld in China. While China’s 5G deployment has been strong, which is a boon for cloud gaming, most of the AAA games on Xbox Game Pass or GeForce Now don’t have licenses in China, meaning players would be limited in their options and many rely on their smartphones anyway.

In America, however, there’s some momentum behind cloud gaming, and Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows that gamers who purchase Logitech’s products are even more inclined to subscribe to a cloud gaming service than the general gaming audience. If Logitech designs a sleek device with an appealing form factor and price, it could have an opportunity to leverage that growing interest.

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