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Handheld Gaming PCs Heat Up as AYANEO Challenges Steam Deck

Handheld Gaming PCs Heat Up as AYANEO Challenges Steam Deck

The Rise of Handheld Gaming PCs

The handheld gaming market has witnessed a significant resurgence, thanks to the Nintendo Switch and the unexpected success of Valve's Steam Deck. Despite initial skepticism due to Valve's previous missteps and the choice of a Linux-based OS, the Steam Deck has proven to be a hit, inspiring other tech giants like Acer, Lenovo, and now MSI to join the handheld gaming PC arena. AYANEO, a lesser-known but prolific producer of gaming handhelds, is now stepping up to compete with the Steam Deck, launching the world's second-ever Steam OS handheld gaming PC.

Steam Deck: The Unexpected Success

The Steam Deck, with its hefty build and Linux OS, was a gamble that paid off for Valve. Partnering with AMD for a custom chip and setting an attractive starting price, the device overcame doubts to set a new standard for handheld gaming PCs. It's remembered as the pioneer of the current trend, despite the initial concerns over game compatibility and performance.

Other Brands Pave the Way

While household names like Acer and Lenovo took their time, other companies like GPD and AYANEO were already making waves with their handheld gaming devices. AYANEO, in particular, has been actively expanding its lineup, with the AYANEO NEXT as its 2022 flagship. The company is now introducing a "Lite" version aimed at offering a competitive alternative to the Steam Deck's market.

AYANEO NEXT Lite: A Stealthy Challenger

AYANEO is keeping details about the NEXT Lite under wraps, sharing only that it will feature a 7-inch 800p display and a 47Wh battery, mirroring the specs of the current AYANEO NEXT. The design remains unchanged, but the switch to Steam OS is a notable departure, potentially affecting the software experience outside of gaming. Nevertheless, the Steam Deck's popularity suggests that users will find ways to overcome any software compatibility issues.

Hardware Differences Set Them Apart

While Valve's Steam Deck remains modest in hardware and there's no word on a successor, the AYANEO NEXT Lite is expected to pack more powerful and modern components. This could mean a higher price point, though AYANEO promises cost-effectiveness. Still, consumers should anticipate a higher cost compared to the Steam Deck, reflecting the upgraded specifications.