Considering the dates on the calendar, and the absence of any price information, my initial reaction to Asus ROG’s surprise announcement of a handheld gaming device was This must be an April Fools Day prank.
Asus ROG Ally’s launch video for the ROG Ally was too amazing to ignore. The link to Best Buy, the use of real games such as Moving Out, High on Life and WRC Generations seemed rather unusual for a prank. Now we know why. After a few days, Asus confirmed that it is a real device.
According to Asus the Windows 11-powered ROG Ally is equipped with a Ryzen APU from AMD inside. It’s similar to the Aerith OOC within Valve Steam Deck. Asus claims that it is the fastest APU from AMD.
Although Valve’s Steam Deck is the best attempt to make PC gaming portable, there are many other options, such as the Ayaneo2 and other Switch-like machines from GPD or OneXPlayer. They have used an AMD 6800U chipset and lack the efficiency and horsepower that we expect from handheld gaming machines.
Dave2D has filmed a hands-on video that confirms Asus’ global launch plans.
The ROG Ally is a seven inch 16:9 monitor with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 500 brightness and a 120HZ refresh. This contrasts to the Steam Deck specs which have a seven inch 16:10 monitor at 1280×800 resolution, 400 brightness and a 60Hz refresh.
The prototype is also quieter than the noisy Steam Deck. It measures at around 20dB, compared to 37dB at load. The Deck’s 37dB at load measured at 37dB. He noted that the SSD and joysticks were easily replaceable.
Although it sounds great to have a few more pixels and a faster refresh rate and a more powerful processor, it can also drain the battery when gaming on the move. Windows 11 is more efficient than SteamOS, which is why Windows 11 is still a mystery. Dave2D has not yet provided details about the battery or pricing, but said that they would be available.
The ROG Ally has the standard setup of two analog sticks, a left mounted D-pad and four face buttons. There are also a few buttons on the screen that can be used to access menus or settings. It offers the possibility to “experience Ally at its full potential” by connecting the ROGXG Mobile eGPU that the company sells to use with its gaming laptops and streaming your games to a TV.
The machine in the video seemed ready to go as a powerful entry into the portable gaming market. This was definitely more real than the April Fools’ Day 2022 Asus post, which featured a concept “Smart Lens” that allows for eye-controlled gestures. It later revealed that this was a joke. Asus is also the company has just released this ROG Flow Z13 Acrononym portable, which defies all belief.