The Asus ROG Ally is a real Steam Deck rival
Valve's handheld PC might finally have some competition
Despite a perhaps unwise reveal on April Fool’s day, the Asus ROG Ally is 100% real and could go toe to toe with the Steam Deck.
After some confusion over whether the Windows 11-powered handheld was a joke, Asus confirmed on Twitter that the device was not an April Fool’s prank gone awry and would be up for pre-order soon.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Asus ROG Ally
🎮 Asus has revealed a new handheld gaming console
😮 Despite first impressions, the Asus ROG Ally is not an April Fool’s joke
🙌 It contains some impressive specs that put it on par with the Steam Deck
💰 No price has been revealed yet
The device features a custom AMD APU, similar to that inside the Steam Deck, which Asus claims is the fastest APU chip AMD has manufactured. It has a 1080p screen that supports up to 120Hz – superior to the Steam Deck’s 1280 x 800 60Hz display – and is brighter, lighter, and slimmer than Valve’s handheld.
Right now, the other specs aren’t known, but even that barebones rundown indicates it will be capable of running some of today’s best PC games and comfortably compete with a few of the more affordable best gaming laptops. This isn’t a game streaming handheld, like the Logitech G Cloud, but a bona fide handheld gaming PC.
The clincher, however, will be its price, which Asus hasn’t yet revealed. The cheapest model of Steam Deck goes for $399, and the most expensive is priced at $649. Asus will likely be placing the Ally on the dearer end of that spectrum, and hopefully not far beyond it.
We’re also yet to hear details of its storage size, memory or battery, which will all be key in determining whether it can knock the Steam Deck off its pedestal. Visually, it looks fairly similar to Valve’s device, albeit in white, and features the same asymmetrical analog sticks, D-pad and button layout, although drops Valve’s trackpads.
A hands-on video from Dave2D shows the handheld in action. He noted a fingerprint sensor on the top of the device and pointed out that its fans run significantly quieter than those of the Steam Deck. It also looks as though the analog sticks can be swapped out and replaced
It’s certainly piqued my interest. While the idea of a fully portable gaming PC grabbed me from the start, I’ve been holding off on picking up the Steam Deckin the hope Valve produces a follow-up model with an improved screen and longer battery life – not that there’s much reason to think it will anytime soon.
The Steam Deck went on sale to celebrate its first birthday last month. Fingers crossed that this Asus handheld will come in at a similarly competitive price.
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At first glance the ROG Ally looks slick, and more products in this space is a win for all.
But... The steam deck's inclusion of touch-pads shouldn't be over-looked. Having the ability to have mouse access opens up a lot of games and software that would struggle with controller-only interaction.
Adding in back-side paddles for even more control-mapping options and I can't see replacing my deck with this.