AYANEO Next Lite drops SteamOS Linux clone, HoloISO, for Windows 11

AYANEO Next Lite in white and orange in front of a blurred press image
Credit: AYANEO

Just a mere few weeks after announcing it, AYANEO has switched the OS that it's upcoming cheap and cheerful handheld will come with. Instead of a community-developed SteamOS clone called HoloISO, the AYANEO Next Lite will now ship with Windows 11 Home Edition pre-installed.

Despite the AYANEO Next Lite release date being right around the corner in February, the company has shared on Twitter that, after listening to player and community feedback, it is making a last minute switch to Windows 11 as the primary OS for the budget-friendly Next Lite.

In the statement on Twitter, the AYANEO team suggested that fans of the brand have been sharing their preference for Windows over Linux. The company then confirms that the Windows 11 OS will come pre-installed on its upcoming handheld. However, Linux fans who were excited for another entry onto the best gaming handheld list using something similar to SteamOS, don't worry just yet.

The team confirm that a system image of the HoloISO OS that was going to be used in the AYANEO Next Lite will be available on its official website, with the OS being adapted for the handheld. AYANEO's team goes on to write "The streamlined and efficient HololSO system aims to offer players a more convenient game management, smooth and stable gaming performance, lower overall power consumption, and native compatibility with both controllers and touchscreen operations".

While Windows 11 can be pretty heavy on older specs, we'd imagine it's a safer bet overall than a custom SteamOS copy. However, options are always great, and while there are plenty of Linux distributions available, HoloISO may be a good choice for those looking to get the most out of their AYANEO Next Lite.

We haven't had the chance to check out AYANEO's upcoming device just yet. But, we recently reviewed the AYANEO Retro Mini PC AM01, which we said was "an exciting device holding modern hardware wrapped in a retro-inspired chassis", rewarding it a great 9/10 score.

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