Asus takes on the Steam Deck with new ROG Ally handheld
It looks like the big PC gaming brands are tired of leaving Steam Deck competition to the likes of smaller companies like AyaNeo or GPD. On April 1st Asus announced its first handheld gaming PC, the ROG Ally, an AMD-based setup that looks remarkably familiar. Yes, this is a real product, and it’s really coming out — there’s a Best Buy retail page already, and Asus said that it’s real on Twitter, so the universal law of no-take-backs is in effect.
The ROG Ally is built on an AMD APU like the Steam Deck, but it’s running Windows out of the box, giving it access to a wider band of games without the need for a Linux-based compatibility layer. Details on the hardware are sparse, but Asus claims that the APU is custom (“the fastest AMD APU yet”), the cooling uses dual fans, and the screen is full HD resolution that works well under direct lighting. The video shows off RGB lighting around the analog sticks and on a rear strip, and while it lacks the Steam Deck’s touch-sensitive pads, it does have rear handle buttons.
Asus is bringing an X-factor to the design: external graphics. Like the Flow series of gaming laptops, the ROG Ally can work with a proprietary external GPU dock, giving its AMD-based hardware an injection of discrete graphics card powah. The dock also charges the Ally and enables external displays, making local multiplayer with wireless controllers easy. It isn’t clear if this is the same dock used by the latest Flow laptops, which is available with up to a mobile GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, but it seems like the same unit.
Specific release info, including a price and date, is not available. But you can sign up for an email alert at Best Buy if you’re desperate to get your hands on the Ally.