Almost a month ago Logitech announced a surprise entry into the portable gaming market, with a gadget focused on streaming games from services Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Last night it broke cover in leaked images, showing off a familiar-looking design with what appears to be a custom Android-based operating system.
Prolific and reliable leaker Evan Blass showed off images of the “G Gaming Handheld” on Twitter. The design is more or less the same as the recent crop of portable game machines, all riffing on the basic Nintendo Switch-style layout with standard console face controls and shoulder buttons. The white design shows some pronounced handles for grips and interesting black and light-green contrast. Central to all of it is what appears to be a 16:9 display. Assuming that the buttons are roughly Xbox-sized, it would be approximately 7-8 inches diagonally.
The really interesting part of the reveal is a promotional image showing shortcuts for the Google Play Store, Chrome, and YouTube, as well as the expected streaming shortcuts for Xbox, GeForce Now, and Steam. That heavily indicates that this is a heavily-modified version of Android running on smartphone hardware. (Chrome OS is technically possible, but extremely unlikely.) The presence of official Google apps indicates that Logitech has, or intends to have, Google certification and services ready for launch. That being the case, Google’s own Stadia is an interesting omission.
It also indicates that the gadget could have access to the wide (if shallow) world of Android games, in addition to streaming from both server-based game services and gaming PCs on a local network. Though open-source Android has become popular with inexpensive emulation-focused gaming gadgets, Logitech’s G Gaming Handheld would be the first Android-powered portable game machine from a major manufacturer since the original Nvidia Shield in 2013. Logitech’s initial announcement said that the launch for the device is planned later this year.
Update: Early Tuesday morning, Logitech issued a DMCA takedown of the images that Blass posted to Twitter. In the device leaking game, that generally means “yeah, this is legitimate.”