The Steam Deck spent just five weeks at number one on Valve’s bestseller list, in addition to the five weeks it spent at number two. As one of the most affordable gaming PCs ever made, the $400+ machine has clearly caught the eye of those who have been waiting for a Switch-like portable gaming PC. But what about the companies that were already do Switch-Like Portable Gaming PCs? You now have your chance for revenge.
That’s because all of Steam Deck’s main competitors – GPD, Aya, and OneXPlayer – have now confirmed that they’re building handhelds around AMD’s Ryzen 6000U chips. And the 6800U, with its integrated Radeon 680M graphics, reportedly has the potential to crush the semi-custom Aerith SoC at the heart of Steam’s deck.
OneXPlayer founder and CEO Jack Wong confirmed to me in a live translated interview that the company’s R&D team is already working with the 6000U chips. Meanwhile, in March, GPD announced a new 10.1-inch Win Max 2 clamshell with a Ryzen 7 6800U, and YouTuber Cary Golomb just revealed that GPD already has a stockpile of the 6800U chips it needs.
As this was posted on the GPD Discord it seems ok to share now. GPD brought you a fresh shipment of 6800U.
GPD Win Max 2 6800U test machines should be ready by June!
Unreal and I never thought it could be so fast! pic.twitter.com/kVrdwn866g
— Cary Golomb (@carygolomb) May 17, 2022
And last week, Aya didn’t just announce one thing two Portables based on the 6800U include the Aya Neo 2 and an Aya Neo Slide with a Motorola Droid-like design that fits a five-row staggered keyboard under a sliding screen.
As my colleague Emma Roth pointed out in this post, the Radeon 680M can squeeze out 3.38 teraflops of raw graphics performance, more than double the Steam deck’s 1.6 teraflops on paper, and has 12 RDNA 2 compute units compared to the 8 CUs you have get them with Deck – plus a faster Zen 3 Plus architecture for its CPU.
Will this translate into actual games, and will the laptop chip offer better (or even decent) battery life in a portable device? That’s a harder question, and GPD, for example, is trying to render it at 1920×1200 instead of the Steam Deck’s 1280×800, which could instantly negate any framerate advantage.
But thanks Notebook check, we already have some early performance figures for the 6800U and 680M graphics in a real laptop, and they’re very promising – and at least when combined with a faster processor, they can compete with a discrete graphics chip like the GeForce 1650. it seems. You can even find some videos of this integrated graphics in action here, but note that this is with the Ryzen 7 6800H, not the 6800U, and far less thermally limited than you would see in a handheld.
Of course, performance is just one of the things that makes the Steam Deck good enough to grab players’ attention – but the biggest problem for companies like GPD, Aya, and OneXPlayer is that the Steam Deck was cheaper and stronger than anything they could produce. Their handhelds typically cost two to three times the price of an entry-level Steam deck, and they didn’t have access to AMD’s newer RDNA 2 graphics, only the older and weaker Vega.
OneXPlayer founder Wong tells me that the Steam Deck hasn’t been a problem for his company, but rather a double-edged sword. “You bring the public’s attention to the portable gaming space,” he said via translator. “We used to have quite a niche audience, but now more and more people are getting to know us and knowing that there are more opportunities.”
Wong says his company has grown to 100 employees and has already sold 50,000 of its handheld gaming PCs in North America — and it’s growing faster than the company’s previous other one-netbook business, which managed to grow about the same amount Selling. The company also has a large audience in Japan and China, Wong says, and its strategy won’t be to price-compete with the Steam Deck. Like competitors, he says he wants to build the best portable PCs possible.