Steam Deck is a hit but what are the best PC/console alternatives from Valve? Let’s see in our article some interesting names.
Many gamers saw the arrival of Steam Deck as a brave novelty from Valve, a new way to play their favorite games on the go. The truth, however, is that Steam Deck is just the latest name to join a list of very similar products.
Small format portable PCs/consoles are a great convenience for those who want to play games in everyday life and, even if big manufacturers like Sony PlayStation have set this category of devices aside, it doesn’t mean that less well-known names to the general public aren’t trying to carve out a space for some time.
So let’s see what they are Steam Deck alternatives that are currently available or will be released very soon.
Let’s field the most well-known name right away: the Nintendo Switch family of consoles. Of all the alternatives to Steam Deck, the console from the Kyoto house is the most different, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t share many similar features and several unique advantages that make it one of the most interesting products on this list.
First of all, it has a library of exclusive games large and of enormous quality. We all know the great Nintendo series, from Pokémon to The Legend of Zelda, passing through Kirby, Mario and Splatoon: there is no doubt that those who simply want to play will have dozens of titles ready to be purchased.
Furthermore, Nintendo Switch is available in multiple formats and price ranges, with the Lite version easily recoverable for around €200. The limits of this platform are to be found in its hardware, certainly not performing, and the limits in terms of third-party support: if you are interested in playing the latest AAA games, unfortunately this is not the right console for you.
Nintendo Switch Lite may be one of the least expensive solutions to play on the go, but to be honest there is one that is even less expensive: using your smartphone. Obviously it depends on which phone you own, but if you have a high-end device you can add a controllers like the BackBone One or the Razer Kishi V2.
For what concern game catalogyou obviously have access to the long list of mobile titles for Android and iPhone, but also subscription services such as Netflix (which we recall regularly offers new games, to be downloaded and used offline), Apple Arcade and the Game Pass Cloud, which gives access to many AAA games.
If you have already invested in one quality smartphonesthen it might be a good idea to come full circle with a mobile controller.
AYANEO 2 and Geek
AYANEO 2 is one of the most serious competitors to Steam Deck, mainly due to its specifications. Unlike Steam Deck which stops at 800p, AYANEO 2 offers a 1920 x 1200 screen, with a RAM that reaches up to 32 GB and an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U chip: it is a more performing console than that of Valve and guarantees superior performance.
This product use Windows, but a Linux-based version of the OS could arrive in the future according to the manufacturers. With this product you can do everything that is possible with Windows 11, then start Steam or other launchers to play your favorite video games.
AYANEO 2, however, pays for the higher specifications with a price increase starting from around 940 euros. If you prefer to spend a little less, then you can opt for the AYANEO Geek version, which starts at €800. This model uses an 800p screen, a simpler vibration system and only one gyroscope, instead of the two of the AYANEO 2.
You can buy them on Indiegogo.
We also mention the existence of Ayaneo Air, a sort of “mini” Steam Deck that we reviewed here. This is not the best solution among those available due to a limited battery, but it is a valid solution for those looking for something extremely portable.
GPD Win 4
GPD Win 4 is another serious competitor to Steam Deck and, like the AYANEO, features an AMD 6800U processor. The display, however, reaches 1920 x 1080 and has an optional 4G LTE module for mobile connectivity. It natively features the SteamOS support, but also with Windows installed, to meet all your needs. There are various models, which come with up to 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB of internal space.
The peculiarity of this console, which could push some players to prefer it to the others, is that it sports a integrated keyboard with a QWERTY layout. Just slide the screen up to reveal it and then be able to use the console like a real computer. The design is also very reminiscent of PSP and PS Vita, perfect for those who still suffer from nostalgia for Sony’s consoles.
In terms of pricewe start from €935 and the exit period is set for March 2023. If you want to pre-order, head over to this Indiegogo page.
AYN Loki Max
AYN Loki Max is another Windows-based platform, unlike its previous models which used Android. It features an AMD Zen3+ 6800U, a 12-core Radeon 680M, 16GB of RAM and a 6-inch 1080p LCD screen.
This is a console/PC with good specs and a slightly lower cost compared to the alternatives above: in fact, we are talking about 775 dollars for the best configuration. There are various versions of Loki, as well as older AYN specimens named Odin, but the Loki Max is the one we recommend.
By mounting Windows, you can use all compatible applications and run your games, for example via Steam. The product is on sale on the AYN website.
OneXPlayer 2, together with AYANEO 2 and GPD Win 4, is one of the great competitors of Steam Deck. This gaming machine features an 8.4-inch 2.5K screen and under the hood we find an AMD Ryzen 6800U and an AMD Radeon 680M. The speakers are Harman AudioEFX and the battery is 17,100 mAh which promises at least three hours of gameplay and 8 hours of video playback.
One of the main features of OneXPlayer 2 is its five-in-one functionality: the console can be used connected to the television, in portable console mode, in tabletop mode using the rear stand, in laptop mode and in tablet mode. Similar to the Switch, the controllers can be detached and a keyboard can be connected or a stylus used to turn the OneXPlayer 2 into an all-purpose computer/tablet.
OneXPlayer 2 comes with Windows 11 pre-installed, also with a Player Center software that allows you to customize the console and consumption, changing the frequency of the GPU, the speed of the fans and more.
However, the prices of this model go up compared to others, with the basic one (16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage space) starting from €927 and going up to around €1,300 for the 32 GB RAM and 2 TB model of storage. You can find it on Indiegogo.
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The best alternatives to Steam Deck: from consoles to true high-end PCs
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