What originally started as a post on April Fool’s Day might turn out to be Asus’ next big hit product.
Asus has teased the ROG Ally, a portable Windows gaming console similar to the likes of the Steam Deck from Valve or the GPD Win 4. They’ve also handed them out for previews too, with YouTubers Linus Tech Tips and Dave2D already showing off the ROG Ally on video.
Right off the bat, the ROG Ally already has an advantage over the Steam Deck thanks to its display. While the ROG Ally and the Steam Deck both have a 7-inch display, Asus’ portable Windows gaming console runs at a higher 1080p resolution. It also pushes a higher 120Hz refresh rate along with a higher peak brightness of 500nits and a low 7ms response time. They aren’t sharing all of the specs just yet, but it appears that there’s a custom AMD Zen 4 CPU with RDNA 3 integrated graphics under the hood with up to 1TB of storage. You’ll also find the standard array of ABXY buttons, joysticks, direction pads and the shoulder and trigger buttons as well as additional paddles on the back.
The ROG Ally also features an XG Mobile port, allowing you to hook it up to one of Asus’ ROG XG Mobile external graphics card docks with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 available giving it much higher potential in performance compared to the Steam Deck. That being said though, it is a little unfortunate that Asus uses a proprietary connector for their XG Mobile eGPU docks though the upside over a conventional Thunderbolt port is that it runs at a much higher bandwidth at PCIe Gen 3 x8 standards. Overall, Asus claims that the ROG Ally should offer up to double the performance of the Steam Deck.
Another thing that Asus probably will have going for it though is that the Steam Deck remains officially limited to only a number of regions. Valve continues to only ship it to just North America, the UK, the EU as well as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. This is on top of all the supply issues Valve has had to deal with with the Steam Deck being so popular despite its limited availability. In contrast, Asus being a major electronics and PC components manufacturer with a global presence likely has the edge in getting supply to meet demand for the ROG Ally.
What Asus will likely struggle against the Steam Deck though is its price. Valve priced the Steam Deck extremely competitively, with their portable console starting at just USD399(~S$528.80) for the 64GB variant, rising to USD649(~S$860.13) for the Steam Deck with 512GB of storage. In comparison, other more boutique manufacturers like Ayaneo and GPD have been making portable Windows gaming consoles for years, but have never been able to meet the Steam Deck’s low price tag while keeping up in performance.
Considering that Asus is fitting in better parts such as the higher resolution display, it’s likely that the ROG Ally will be much more expensive than the Steam Deck. Asus had always priced their portable gaming machines at a premium anyway.
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