Valve’s Steam Deck has been one of the truly successful handheld consoles in the market. Rival companies looking to enter the handheld market must compare themselves to Valve’s handheld as a benchmark - and it seems Asus is one of the first to enter the ring.
At the start of April ASUS announced that it is developing a new handheld console to rival the Steam Deck. Many didn’t believe the announcement at first since it was done on the 1st of April, when everything you read online should be taken with a grain of salt. However, the new handheld is not an April Fool’s joke.
The new handheld console is called the ROG Ally, under the Republic of Gamers label. The ROG Ally was revealed via a three-minute video but unfortunately, we did not get any specs for the new handheld. The reveal video only mentioned that the device will be powered by a custom AMD chip and be compatible with ASUS’ lineup of external GPU/PSUs used in laptops.
To ramp up hype ahead of the handheld's release, a select group of content creators got their hands on the prototype device. Popular Youtuber Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips is one of the lucky few that got to test it out.
While the content creator was not allowed to discuss the hardware's specs and performance, it was mentioned that the ROG Ally runs on a 7-inch 16:9 1920x1080 (full HD) at 120hz display. It also has a similar control layout and experience to the Steam Deck.
However, the ROG Ally is a lot smaller and lighter than its main rival. According to Linus, the ROG Ally uses the 2230-sized SSD, meaning it will likely ship with a maximum of 1TB of internal storage. The battery life should also be comparable to the Steam Deck.
Tom’s Hardware has revealed some additional details about the hardware that powers the ASUS ROG Ally, though. According to its report, the new handheld will run on a custom AMD System-on-Chip that uses the TSMC 4nm process. The APU is equipped with Zen 4 CPU and RDNA 3 GPU cores. For comparison, the Steam Deck has a custom Zen 2 4-core 8-thread CPU and an 8-core RDNA 2 CPU.
ASUS claims that the ROG Ally can deliver double the performance of the Steam Deck. This was confirmed by Linus Tech Tips during their hands-on review of the prototype. The ASUS ROG Ally will be running on the Windows 11 operating system. The device will also be compatible with the ASUS ROG Raikiri Pro controller.
The ASUS ROG Ally will not be competing with the Steam Deck’s $399 price point. Industry insiders estimate that the new device would retail at around $600. There is no release date information available as of yet.