Gaming is seen as a rather lazy hobby. Unless you’re a Dance Dance Revolution esports pro, playing the game is all about kicking back on your couch, reclining your gaming chair, grabbing some nachos, and blasting some enemy dudes. However, what if games could be even lazier?
Ever since the advent of Xbox Cloud Gaming and its cousins, I’ve been on the quest to build the laziest gaming setup in the history of the universe. There are advanced civilizations in yet-to-be-discovered corners of the universe that have yet to discover a setup as lazy as mine.
Inspired by the advanced space-age technology of Wall-E and approved by Xbox engineers**, this is my ultra-lazy, ultimate relaxation cloud gaming setup.
**Disclaimer: Xbox engineers may or may not approve this.
Gooseneck Bed Stand + Tablet = Win
My setup ultimately depends on a few key components. First, you’ll need some sort of Xbox Cloud Gaming compatible device. For this setup, I’m using an old iPad I had lying around, but really, any semi-decent tablet will do. Samsung tablets are the best tablets for Xbox Cloud Gaming. This is because you can get the special Galaxy Store version of Xbox Game Pass, which has some extra features that aren’t available in the Google Play version. The web version also has similar features, but you’ll have to jump through some hoops to set it up on iPad, thanks to anti-competitive practices from Apple’s app store. In any case, it’s easy to set up and you can get it via xbox.com/play (opens in a new tab).
The iPad uses a pinned web app from Safari, and once pinned, it essentially behaves like any native app anyway. You can use any Xbox controller via Bluetooth. And sure, Bluetooth isn’t the best for latency, but for the vast majority of games it’s not an issue. My internet here gives me around 300MB down and 30MB up, using my WiFi SSID in 5GHz mode for maximum performance. In general, Xbox Cloud Gaming and other services will downgrade to 2.4GHz, so be sure to check your router settings to make sure you have split frequencies to ensure you’re at the correct level.
The next component is arguably the most important, and you can get one on Amazon for around $20.
I use two Lamicall tablet gooseneck mounts for my phone and iPad. This way I can stay on top of Slack, Discord and other social apps while enjoying cloud gaming in bed. I use Xbox Cloud Gaming, NVIDIA GeForce Now, and Steam Link interchangeably with this setup. The gooseneck configuration allows you to adjust the iPad according to how you feel like going to bed. Move to your heart’s content and adjust at will.
These tablet mounts are great for mounting tablets and phones to your bed, as long as they will fit (check Amazon for clamp sizes before you dive in). You can also use them on a desk for a little extra screen space for productivity, or in the kitchen for hands-free viewing of recipes. However, I will say that they do not last forever. Unfortunately, the mechanism to move them degrades over time. Through heavy use, I find that these Lamicall mounts take about a year to wear down and break down. I have yet to find a type of frame that offers the same level of flexibility along with more durability. You can get telescopic arm mounts, but you lose some positional versatility as a trade-off.
Steam Deck Bonus Sloth
I also use Steam Deck from time to time, and it has helped me stave off boredom in situations where the cloud just isn’t possible. The Steam Deck is a chunky chunky boy, though, and doesn’t generally fit into these kinds of tablet holders.
I usually use Steam Link from my main gaming PC if I don’t want to play on my desktop for whatever reason, but there have been a few times when I’ve grabbed Steam Deck to play casual games and the like without having the PC turned on. But man, playing a Steam Deck (or a Nintendo Switch for that matter) in bed can wear out your neck and spine as you lean forward in an unnatural position. Can technology solve this problem? It turns out that you can!
These prism “reading” glasses allow you to read books or play video games without burdening your neck. Set them down, lean back, and you’ll be playing at a more comfortable angle. Sure, it may seem a little weird, but hey, it’s a small price to pay for ergonomics.
time to get lazy
Xbox Cloud Gaming has been advertised as a solution for gaming while away from your TV. But for me, the reality is that Xbox Cloud Gaming is a solution for when my TV is taken against my will. As the latency has improved over the years, it pretty much feels native these days where I live. A big, rugged iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab screen gives us a glimpse of that portable Xbox experience we’ll probably never get.
For those who have been dabbling in Xbox Cloud Gaming as part of their Xbox Game Pass subscription, I invite you to join me in the lazy revolution!