The 2022 AYANEO Next handheld gaming PC and Steam Deck may launch at similar times

Aya Next
Aya Next (Image credit: AYANEO)

What you need to know

  • The 2022 AYANEO Next handheld gaming PC will come with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U and AMD Radeon Vega 8.
  • Its three models will all reportedly feature different price points depending on whether you buy in during the retail or crowdfunding phase.
  • Based on the same report, the AYANEO Next will be reaching consumers after Valve's Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck isn't the only game in town if you're looking for a place to play PC titles in a portable capacity. Besides Valve's offering, there's also the AYANEO Next.

The Next is set to come in three different configurations: The basic Next, Next Advance, and Next Pro. The models will share a number of commonalities across their builds, including all of them having a 7-inch, 1280 x 800 IPS LCD display, AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU, and AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics. Where they'll differ is in RAM, storage, and color options.

The Next Pro will have 32GB of RAM compared to the Advance's and basic Next's 16GB. And the Next's 1TB of storage will be dwarfed by the other two models' 2TB.

As can be seen on AYANEO's website, the models are advertised as managing two hours of battery life while playing Grand Theft Auto V, four hours for Hollow Knight, and six for Celeste.

According to Liliputing, the handhelds are likely going to ship out after Valve's Steam Decks due to the Nexts having a crowdfunding campaign that kicks off in February. In that same report, the prices for the AYANEO devices are as follows: The Next (basic) will cost $1,315 at retail and $1,265 during crowdfunding, the Next Advance will retail for $1,465 and start at $1,345 during crowdfunding, and the Next Pro will be $1,565 at retail and $1,465 at crowdfunding time.

Image (opens in new tab)

AYANEO Next Advance (opens in new tab)

If you're not sold on Valve's gaming handheld yet, take a look at the competition. AYANEO's Next line offers alternative pricing and specs that add to the variety of the portable PC gaming scene.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

16 Comments
  • Do these run Linux or Windows? Any info on the software or mechanism for adding games to them? I've been very critical of the Steam Deck, because of the way Valve worked with MS to bring MS games to Steam, only to turn around and stab them in the back by launching Steam Deck without Windows. However, that was because of their unethical business practices and deceptive behavior toward MS. As far as I know, AYANEO has no similar ethical obligation to MS.
  • The Aya Neo and similar devices like OneXPlayer handhelds, and GPD Win all run Windows. Aya Neo was unique in that it was the first one to use an AMD chip. Up until that point, they all used intel, which works, but AMD has superior drivers for gaming. There are other handhelds but those use Android and are primarily for emulating old games. The Steam Deck is the only new player that is using Linux out of the box. I have a Steam Deck reserved since the price is good but whether I pay the rest will come down to if putting Windows on it is viable or not. I understand why Valve is trying to protect their interests by using Steam OS, but I still would have preferred an option with Windows out of the gate even if it cost a bit more.
  • Thanks, ladydias! I used to be on top of all of this, when I was in the gaming sector, but now I'm mostly just an observer. I like that it's Windows. I've mostly moved my gaming from my own Linux devices (I used to run a touchscreen gaming division where we made games for bars and restaurants and created many original short-play casual games) and a Windows gaming rig, to Xbox Series X for the simplicity of playing on a console and now that consoles have reasonably good hardware. I would have no objection (or at least much less of one) to Steam offering the Steam Deck if they at least offered a version with Windows, even if at a premium to pay for the license cost (or is it small enough that Windows is free?). It's because they didn't even offer that, that I can't see any other reason but anti-MS spite on their part (and Gabe Newell's words indicate as much). For me, that's unforgivable, but I don't resent that gamers may want these. I do think the hardware design is pretty good. If you get one, I hope you enjoy it.
  • Thank you. I hope the pricing of the Steam Deck pushes competition with these other handheld makers and kind of pushes Microsoft to make their own handheld (though I'm not holding my breath on that). I'm not sure if Windows is still free under a certain screen size but bulk licensing is definitely cheaper than a single license. Adding Windows would not magically increase the cost of the Deck by hundreds like some people try to imply.
  • If Valve just slapped Windows on this they wouldn't have the same control over the end result. It's like Microsoft using Android to build a phone, the freedom is almost unlimited. And I'm sorry, look at the price of this thing compared to Steam Deck.
  • Richard, I've not criticized the Steam Deck in terms of the end user experience. I've criticized the ethics of Valve for doing this after Microsoft worked with them to co-develop gaming options for Windows users. A doctor can also make a lot of money prescribing drugs to addicts and those addicts may be happy about it, but it's unethical (I'm not suggesting that's a parallel for Valve and gamers, just that there is no connection between customer appreciation and the ethical nature of the business decision). I say this as a guy who is rabidly pro-freedom and capitalism. There are many here who criticize profit as if that's a dirty word. Capitalism and the quest for profits are good things. The problem is when companies forsake ethics, and then try to use the quest for profit as an excuse. There is no excuse for abandoning ethical behavior. Personally, I think the check on that should be that we, as customers, don't reward unethical behavior with our money, but I respect that other customers make decisions using their own preferred criteria.
  • But I don't think the price is that high because of the windows license.
  • If Microsoft had unlimited freedom with Android, they wouldn't be struggling as hard to make the Duo work. That said, the price of the Aya Neo comes down to scale, they just don't have the same money to cut the price down because they don't own a storefront. Windows isn't inflating the price that much. Also, while Windows isn't perfect, it has worked fine on these handhelds for years. I do not begrudge Valve for going for Linux but they aren't putting out the Steam Deck to save PC gaming. They are attempting to keep people on Steam (even though they are already number one by a wide margin) and they absolutely fear GamePass and the Epic Game Store because they are both backed by companies with more money than Valve. My concern about the Steam Deck will remain the same, it had better get compatibility right out of the gate or it will just be relegated to 'that handheld that should have come with Windows but didn't'.
  • Don't understand the appeal at over 3x the price of SD
  • It has different color options, is running Windows for maximum compatibility (yes, you can put Windows on the Steam Deck or stick with Proton, but there are still some question marks), has more storage and ports than the Steam Deck, supports biometrics, has the option for up to 32 gigs of ram, and even though the chip is weaker than that of the Steam Deck, you have the option to increase the wattage beyond the 15 watts the Steam Deck is capped at. Also, if you didn't pre-order the Steam Deck last year, you are at the end of a queue that is possibly going to stretch into 2023 whereas this should be gettable this year. Plus it is available globally instead of in select countries like the SD. The specs won't outperform a Steam Deck but they aren't bad by any means.
  • So less powerful at thrice the price of the SD.
    But color options. Also, this running Windows does have question marks too. Plenty.
  • To be more specific, the GPU of the Next is weaker than the SD but the CPU is stronger along with all the other things I mentioned, besides color options 🙄. The Deck is a better deal, no doubt, but the biggest sticking points will be whether Proton can cut it and it not having worldwide availability. And no, the Next running Windows does not have question marks because it has already been proven to work for the most part by the multitude of other handheld PCs that predate the Steam Deck. The Deck is the outlier here because Valve is able to sell at a loss, not the other way around, but it is good for competition.
  • Windows is a terrible experience on touch devices. Still. And you think that putting it on a handheld PC = best experience?
  • Windows is customizable enough that it isn't as big a deal as you seem to think. Stop acting as if there aren't just as many people who tinker with Windows as Linux. Even the Start menu is not set in stone, nor is Windows explorer. The Aya Neo even has their own optional interface called Aya Space that is similar to Steam Big Picture but links to multiple games from other stores. And if you don't want that, GoG Galaxy and Playnite offer similar features. Controller Companion is also great for letting you navigate Windows with a controller. Again, Valve jumped into the handheld gaming PC pool because it had been proven by these devices. It's only a trailblazer in price, the sleep feature and track pads, and if you are someone who wants Linux to have more of a seat at this table. Just to be clear, this is not me disparaging Linux. This is me acknowledging that there are going to be growing pains because Valve went the route that they did.
  • Richard, you're conflating unrelated factors. Windows as an OS provides a highly responsive 10-finger touch system built into the OS, which is all the touch support any application or games need for a fantastic touch UI. What you're referring to is the Desktop UI, which is designed primarily for mouse and keyboard (though it's also pretty good for touch again with Windows 11, maybe not quite as good as Windows 8, but better than 10). A hardware developer can install Windows Embedded and completely remove the default UI, if they wish, providing their own custom interface to better align with the form factor. This could include, for example, giant touch buttons in place of a Start Menu. MS uses a variation on this approach themselves with Xbox -- totally different UI for optimized use with controllers. I believe, but I confess I'm not sure -- MS may have changed the licensing requirements -- that same device can also offer an option to launch Explorer and the Windows Desktop. So, if that's still an option, it could have the custom touch UI at startup and for gaming, but then have an option to launch Windows desktop for anything that might need that.
  • Wow. Looks like Valve are really selling theirs at a loss.
    Competition is good, so I hope to see even more of these devices. A new great era of PC gaming is rising. No more of that "this PC indie is great, I want it on the Switch" nonsense.