Ayaneo’s $299 Next Lite is a Steam Deck rival that runs an unofficial copy of SteamOS

Following a cryptic tease during CES 2024, Ayaneo has revealed its Next Lite gaming handheld and it’s a confusing product, to say the least. It’s designed to compete with Steam Deck, but it doesn’t run Valve’s official SteamOS — rather, it uses a forked version called HoloISO. It will be priced at a decent $299 and while the controls and screen look good, it packs a less-than-potent processor. 

The Next Lite is equipped with a seven-inch 800p screen, 16GB of RAM and and a 47Wh battery, close to the battery size in the $549 Steam Deck OLED. However, it runs either a Ryzen 7 4500U or 4800U processor with Vega 8 graphics, rather than the Ryzen 7 5825U found on the Next. The former chips are several years old now, so the Next Lite is likely to lag well behind the original Steam Deck, currently priced at $349

It also uses Hall effect joysticks to eliminate drift and has a copper heat pipe cooling system. It’s equipped with three USB-C 2.3 Gen 2 ports on the top and bottom, along with a slot for full-length M.2 2280 NVMe SSDs. If you’d rather run Windows like most other handhelds, it supports that option and will offer required drivers on the company’s official website. 


The earlier press release was puzzling because Ayaneo talked about a “subscription,” but it turns out that it was just about subscribing to get more information. The company also initially said it would ship with SteamOS, which got everyone excited, but it turns out that it won’t officially support Valve’s operating system. Since then, the initial post has been modified to say that it’ll use HoloSO, a third-party SteamOS fork. 

So what does that mean in terms of Steam Deck gaming? Ayaneo said that HoloISO “attempts to bring the Steam Deck’s SteamOS Holo redistribution into a generic, installable format, and provide a close-to-official SteamOS experience.” In other words, there may not be a guarantee that games will work, given the lack of official support from Valve. 

As mentioned, the Ayaneo Next Lite will cost $299 and come in “vibrant colors” including seafoam green. It’s set to start shipping ahead of Chinese New Year on February 10th, 2024. 

We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/ayaneos-299-next-lite-is-a-steam-deck-rival-that-runs-an-unofficial-copy-of-steamos-093107900.html?src=rss 

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