AYANEO Next Lite OS Takes One Step Forward, Two Steps Back


When it comes to the preloaded operating system (OS) for the upcoming AYANEO Next Lite, it is sounding like one step forward and two steps back.

Some of you may remember that the initial announcement for the Next Lite stated that it would come with Valve’s SteamOS pre-installed.

This detail stood out quite a bit to prospective buyers and to all of the gaming outlets covering the exciting news.

Because this would have been the first device, other than the Steam Deck, to actually ship with the SteamOS on it.

But, as to be expected, plans have changed for the AYANEO Next Lite OS; presumably after Valve heard the news.

Two Steps Back

Image Source: AYANEO

AYANEO took their first step back shortly after announcing the Next Lite, changing all of their promotion to say that it would actually come preloaded with the HoloISO system.

This was something I was entirely unfamiliar with, as I have never owned a Steam Deck nor an AYANEO device.

HoloISO (that’s “holo i-s-o”) is a redistribution of the SteamOS, which is advertised as a “close-to-official SteamOS experience.


So we would not be getting SteamOS pre-installed on a device that is in direct competition to the Steam Deck, after all.

That already sounded like an improbable outcome anyways, so now we’re getting HoloISO. Okay, we can work with that.

Well it would seem that AYANEO has run into yet another roadblock in their attempt to offer users with a Steam Deck -like experience on their latest handheld.

Because they have just announced that the Next Lite will come preloaded with Windows 11 Home Edition only.

Image Source: AYANEO

AYANEO has explained this as something that was born out of feedback from their customer base, and have even called it a “benefit upgrade“.

But we all know exactly why the AYANEO Next Lite will not ship with SteamOS or HoloISO – because it cannot.

When it comes to preloading the Next Lite with SteamOS, AYANEO probably just touted that without actually having permission to do so, and Valve said “no the heck you aren’t!”

Image Source: AYANEO

At the time of writing this article, the AYANEO website still says that the Next Lite ships with pre-installed HoloISO in some of their promotion.

So obviously they are having some trouble keeping up with their own ebbs and flows.

So What Should We Expect?

AYANEO Next Lite
Image source: AYANEO

Interested buyers can rest assured – the AYANEO Next Lite will ship with Windows and only Windows, and that will be final.

It is not a terrible down-step, as you can also just install HoloISO yourself, which AYANEO also indicates.

And we are still getting one of AYANEO’s most affordable devices to date, and it is jam-packed with some incredible technology.

I’m still very interested in getting my hands on the Next Lite as my very first AYANEO handheld machine, and I am looking forward to finally experiencing that celebrated AYANEO quality.

If you’re interested in more information about the Next Lite, check it out on the AYANEO website and follow AYANEO on Twitter for future information on the IndieGogo campaign.

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