Aya Neo: Is It The New Frontier of Handheld Games

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The excellent Ryzen-driven Aya Neo handheld gaming PC has landed, and according to techies, life will never be the same. This bedroom start-up best seller has gamers begging for more.

Aya is the young Chinese start-up behind the best-selling device. Here’s a story of a small-time start-up company that smashed its crowdfunding goal out of the ballpark within the first few hours of the Aya Neo going live on the indie tech funding site, Indiegogo. The 512GB SSD model sold out in Hong Kong in less than one day with no restock signs. Instead, Aya has issued a thousand 1TB units to meet the demand.

While the Aya Neo looks like a Nintendo Switch, that’s where comparisons stop. There’s little doubt the Aya Neo is the future of entertainment. Packing in a 7nm AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor, 16GB of RAM, and Radeon Vega 6 GPU, what this means in real terms is four times the power of the Switch, 800p resolution on a 7-inch screen, and runs on Windows 10, meaning there are no compatibility issues.

Nintendo Switch v Aya Neo

aya neo

Like the Nintendo Switch, although entirely portable, the Aya Neo comes with an optional docking station. The designers have added enough ports to plug in a hot gaming mouse and the best gaming keyboard. Good news because you can’t slide the Aya Neo’s controllers off. It’s likely if this controller issue becomes a problem, the designers will change it in the second-generation device.

According to Aya’s preliminary tests and back to the nuts and bolts – the current configuration, frame rates are expected to rest between 30fps and 60fps on most top titles. Just like everything, though, you’ll need to check the system requirements of newer games. Word has it that GTA V runs up to 50fps, and The Witcher 3 at up to 45fps while both Red Dead Redemption 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 works, albeit only at 30fps on low settings.

Aya confirmed it’d push optimizations that could help boost fps as more titles release and as the device moves on to the second generation and beyond. It is available in only two colors in the larger two models: the 1TB Aya Neo comes in Black Star (black) and Light Moon (white). The 512GB SSD version is sold out with no re-issue date so far, and the sleek see-through version appears to be a prototype and is not for sale, which is a real shame.

Crowdfunding 

So how did Aya, a small-time, back bedroom company, hit the jackpot with the Neo? Remember that most crowdfunded tech projects never get off the ground, which is why they are crowdfunded in the first place. The Aya Neo is slightly different as it is already on sale in Hong Kong for HKD 7,000 (approximately $900 / £648), or it would be if it hadn’t sold out, leaving a massive waiting list to fill.

The only way to buy the Aya Neo is through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, with a delivery date set in May 2021. You may not have heard of Indiegogo, but that’s what makes the Aya Neo a 21st Century lockdown success story. Aya initially held back on the Neo’s release due to supply chain problems, but all the delay created was a buzz; gamers everywhere were excited to see if this device would ever actually materialize.

Aya withheld its crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo due to stock shortages. Making graphics cards and gaming CPUs challenging to get; however, as the world opens up and Hong Kong and China in particular recovers, the world will get their hands on the game-changing device.

Alternative to the Aya Neo

If all this waiting is making you impatient, then let’s look at the next best thing. The new generation Nintendo Switch is the nearest relative and is currently available with games for a reasonable price, available in grey, red, or blue.

A great option is the Hyperkin SupaBoy it looks like an old-school gaming device but is reliant on Nintendo games, so on second thoughts, let try the Sony PlayStation Vita (PS Vita).

The Sony handheld console offered so much possibility. Here is a handheld game console more powerful than the PS2 (PlayStation 2) connected to the PS 4 (PlayStation 4) through Bluetooth remote Play. So why, if it had so much potential, did things go wrong for the PS Vita?

Launched to much acclaim, the PS Vita started well ahead until hardware and game sales stalled, causing large developers like Ubisoft and Activision to pull support quickly. Even with plummeting sales, the PS Vita’s game library is a strong one. Top titles include Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, Persona 4 Golden, and Assassin’s Creed 3 – Liberation. While games like Hotline Miami, Fez, Spelunky, and OlliOlli can thank the PS Vita for their success.

Sony no longer manufactures the system leaving a big hole filled by the Nintendo Switch until now, that is! What out Nintendo, there’s a new start-up on the block, what odds would you give us on Aya being part of Nintendo by the time the Neo is available for worldwide release?  Just remember you heard it here first.

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