Ayaneo recently announced its new handheld gaming system, the Next Lite, which has a 7-inch 800p display, Hall Effect joysticks and was initially reported to have SteamOS. It ends up that it's not really running SteamOS.
At first, Ayaneo claimed that its upcoming portable gaming console has pre-installed SteamOS but later it confirmed to Gaming On Linux that it uses HoloISO, which is essentially a re-packaged version of SteamOS for use with systems other than Valve's Steam Deck.
It is not clear why Ayaneo didn't immediately come out and make the distinction, as offering SteamOS suggests some sort of official partnership.
Ayaneo didn't reveal any information about the CPU or other specs, but the Next Lite is expected to be open to 'subscriptions' today at 9.30 PM EST.
What's Stopping Valve From Having SteamOS Installable on Other Devices?
Valve has suggested that it wants to make SteamOS work with other handheld gaming devices beyond the Steam Deck, though the current SteamOS is that it is tuned to work with Valve's hardware. That's where HoloISO and ChimeraOS come in for others to use. Valve has suggested it will eventually make SteamOS more widely available, but it hasn't provided a date.
HoloOS can still have flaws and minor issues depending on the device it is installed on. To make sure SteamOS can be installed on other devices, Valve will need to ensure driver support and will probably start by making it available for other handhelds with similar gamepad-style controls.
Handheld gaming is getting more interesting and compeitive this year. Just this week, we saw the MSI Claw, which is using an Intel Core Ultra CPU, as well as OneXPlayer's OneXFly. Ayaneo is not new to the business, but it still relies on Kickstarter funds and has to compete with bigger players like Lenovo, Asus, and Valve itsef.
SteamOS is perhaps the biggest competitive advantage that the Steam Deck has over handheld competitors, but it won't be a surprise to eventually see it come to other portables. After all, games purchased through Steam give Valve a cut of sales. Once Valve releases SteamOS for third-party devices officially, we may get to a place where a good operating system designed for handheld devices is one of your choice: Windows, SteamOS, ChimeraOS or soething else. For now, ChimeraOS and HoloISO get you a bit closer to a SteamOS-like experience — but Ayaneo should have been more clear about it.
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