It is hoped that cloud gaming will allow you to play from anywhere at any time using a computer with an internet connection and a good browser (each cloud gaming service seems to have its requirements on this front).

Even if you're on a work trip and only have your laptop or your TV is occupied - or even if you're not in the mood to sit on the couch - you should be able to play super demanding games wherever you are. However, cloud gaming offers the most significant promise because you can access all your games anywhere, as long as you have a phone.

The problem with this is that it doesn't work in practice. Having played games in the cloud on my Steam Deck nearly every day over the past few weeks, I will never again use my phone for cloud gaming. I've realized that sometimes dedicated gaming hardware is good, thanks to Valve's enormous do-anything handheld PC! You can't make Swiss Army knives out of your phone's cloud gaming, but you can make Swiss Army knives out of your phone. However, I am not interested in using it.

Cloud gaming has been something I've been experimenting with a lot on my phone. In addition to Red Dead Redemption 2, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Halo, Gears of War, and other games, I have attempted a number of others. Whenever I try to play one of these AAA games, my jaw drops because they are usually demanding games that require expensive (and noisy) hardware. Tech companies have delivered on a promise they made decades ago to me. 

Eventually, the wonder wears off after you spend a long time playing cloud games on your phone. The battery on your phone can and will drain quickly, so you'll experience battery anxiety while playing cloud games. My phone once grew hotter than the sun while I waited for a flight at the airport, and once the battery started running low, I realized I was more concerned about finding a charging station than the RDR2 storyline. I needed my phone to be charged for the rest of the trip.

Besides cloud gaming, phones are suitable for all kinds of things. It is the least convenient time to receive notifications from other apps that are not gaming-related. You will immediately be kicked out of the game if your mom calls to ask about your flight. Have you received a text asking when your friend will pick you up? Getting back into the competition will require you to step out. The phone is always trying to reconnect to the cloud gaming servers while you try to check Instagram without losing your progress in a game. 

A phone's controls are one of the worst things about cloud gaming. Touchscreen controls are usually included with most services. The controls themselves can be an issue unless you're good at using on-screen joysticks. If you're like me, you'll find them frustrating at first. My Kishi has been gamely used with more than one Android phone, but I always forget to bring it with me when I'm on the go. Accessories like the Razer Kishi and Backbone are supposed to make phones ideal for hardcore gaming. Unlike a purse or a pocket, the Kishi doesn't just appear in my pockets when I leave the house. In that case, I'm not able to play cloud games anywhere at any time if I need to bring a little controller dongle. Having a separate device would probably be more convenient for me.

I was forced to confront my affection for cloud gaming on my phone as well as my extreme dissatisfaction with it after my Steam Deck arrived. In addition to feeling the same wonder I feel when I first cloud game on my phone, I enjoy playing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on Xbox Cloud Gaming on my Steam Deck. 

Cloud gaming on the Stream Deck is a first choice instead of a last resort. On the thing, I'm excited to test the cloud gaming solutions from Sony, Nvidia, and even Google. There is no feeling of crowdedness in the game. It's as simple as that. If the battery runs out, I can plug it in again and Avoid being totally disconnected from the outside world by doing other things instead.

What kind of cloud gaming experience would I prefer over the Steam Deck? Of course. Mobile GPUs like ARM's Immortalis, which is ray-tracing-capable, already allow phones to take on those tasks, so it might be possible to have a perfect mobile gaming solution without custom chips (which both the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck require). Their development is being undertaken by companies such as Ayn and GPD. Cloud gaming is more than enough for AAA gaming on the go when the internet is good. If the goal is just cloud gaming on the go, I won't need an Immortalis GPU. The GPU or CPU doesn't have to be very powerful. A good smartphone should be able to sip a battery, display a nice image, and support 5G. 

Such a device resembles a phone, but it shouldn't. A separate entity should be set up for it. As soon as I experience a cloud gaming experience on my phone, I will never go back. Despite its many benefits, it's not the right choice for cloud gaming.


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