The Steam Deck might not have even had a chance to truly flourish before the Steam Deck killer handheld is launched. The Aokzoe is a handheld gaming device that uses the new AMD Ryzen 6800U mobile APU, combining a powerful 5nm Zen 3+ CPU with integrated Radeon 680M graphics, and LPDDR5X RAM, for a much more powerful gaming system. It'll be capable of playing all sorts of games at settings that the Steam Deck just can't manage.
We're entering a new era of handheld gaming, pioneered by devices like the Ayaneo, and popularized by the Steam Deck, but that just means other contenders to the throne will launch. With no console exclusivity to worry about, handheld gaming could evolve into a space similar to the smartphone arena, where there are plenty of great options to choose from. Still, with rapid advances in mobile processing and graphics, devices will quickly feel outdated.
That's the potential the Aokzoe AI has when compared to the Steam Deck, as on paper at least, it is vastly more powerful. We don't know what that means for battery life or comfort when gaming -- it may get rather warm -- but the potential is certainly there. First party demo videos of the handheld running the rather-unoptimized Elden Ring at high detail and a steady FPS look great, but it's still very early days for this untested and unreviewed device.
We're told that the demo of the game is running at 1280 x 800 with low quality settings, but it looks gorgeous, and reportedly only demands 28W of power. That could be possible when you factor in the power efficiency of the new Zen 3+ CPU cores and LPDDR5X memory, especially when compared with the older Zen 2 cores used in the Steam Deck.
One word of warning for those considering jumping on a pre-order for this when it becomes available. There are no touchpads there. The Steam Deck has a robust array of inputs, letting it play just about anything. This device will not be great for games that are traditionally reliant on mouse movement.
Look out for more Aokzoe details later this year.