The ROG Ally is a new console from Asus. It wants to run all PC games in a portable form factor similar to the Switch or Steam Deck. A brief overview of what we know about this curious product.
With the Steam Deck, Valve has inaugurated a whole new format: that of the portable console / computer capable of running all the big PC games in a chassis reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch. With ROG Ally, Asus comes to bring its stone to the building.
Unveiled on 1er last April, the ROG Ally has something to dream about as it makes so many promises, but it still hides many mysteries. In this folder we will compile everything there is to know about it. Of course, we will update it when new information comes out.
What is ROG Ally?
After the release of the Steam Deck, many manufacturers rushed into the breach with varying degrees of success, betting on a portable format without compromise. Now it’s Asus’ turn to take the risk with the ROG Ally.
The ROG Ally has something to spark interest. Asus’ proposal is simple: do like the Steam Deck, but with upgraded technical characteristics. The Ally could therefore offer everything that Valve’s console lacks, both in terms of screen, power and compatible games.
The ROG Ally announcement was a bit special. Asus has been mischievous with a very quirky presentation video published on… 1er April 2023. If at the beginning, nobody really believed it, many Internet users then said to themselves “this machine is credible, in fact”. Rightly so, since on Monday April 3, the brand announced that its console was real and that it was going to come out on the market. A real April Fool’s joke.
What are the technical characteristics of the ROG Ally?
Asus did not go into detail regarding the technical characteristics of its console. The brand wants to hover the mystery until a next presentation. However, she did provide some information. Even more, two famous American tech Youtubers -Linus Tech Tips and Dave2D- were able to take it in hand and provide additional details.
What we know is that ROG Ally features a 7-inch 1080p display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This panel has a maximum brightness of 600 nits, so theoretically enough to play outside. The big question is whether this is an IPS LCD or OLED panel, but the manufacturer has not yet specified it.
Inside we find a custom AMD Ryzen processor, specially designed for the machine engraved in 4 nm. As we learned from a leak just before the launch, we will find on board a processor from the “Z1” series. It would bean AMD Ryzen 7 7840U chip with a Radeon 780M GPU. We would therefore be entitled to 8 cores and 16 threads, twice as much as the Steam Deck, and a base frequency of 3.3 GHz. The GPU will offer improved graphics thanks to the RDNA 3 architecture and its 12 CUs. In comparison, the Steam Deck has to make do with the RDNA 2 architecture and just 8 CUs.
Early feedback says it’s twice as powerful as the Steam Deck and handles heat and noise very well. emitting only 20 decibels in play. It’s not much.
Read also – Asus ROG Flow Z13 test: both PC and tablet, the ultimate ultraportable gamer?
Here’s a summary of everything confirmed for the Asus ROG Ally:
- 7-inch (16:9), 1920 x 1080 pixel display with 120Hz refresh rate and 7ms response rate
- AMD Ryzen custom Z1 processor
- 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
- 512 GB of storage
- Maximum 1TB M2 format SSD
- microSD slot
- USB Type-C port
- Fingerprint sensor
- 608 grams
- Asus proprietary port to connect the Ally to an external GPU
- Windows 11 with Armory Crate launcher
- Compatible with all launchers (Steam, Epic, BattleNet, GOG…)
As we can see, there are still a lot of gray areas, such as the precise characteristics of the processor, the technology of the panel, but also the capacity of the battery. We will know more very soon, promises Asus.
What is the design of ROG Ally?
ROG Ally embraces an unsurprising design for a portable console, with a screen located in the middle and the buttons on each side. A format that has existed for decades (Game Gear, Game Boy Advance, PSP…) and which has been taken over by the Switch and the Steam Deck. However, there are several interesting things to note.
The first concerns the buttons. The ROG Ally has asymmetrical (backlit) sticks, which should appeal to many gamers. She actually picks up Xbox button layout. We obviously find the triggers on the upper part, but also two additional keys on the back, as on the Steam Deck.
As noted by Linus Tech Tips, the console is not comfortable in the hands when carried at arm’s length. It is indeed designed for the player to enjoy while he is leaning on a table. Smart. It would weigh 608 grams, which is 60 grams more than the Steam Deck.
Another interesting detail: the ventilation system. Asus has taken over the one used on its PCs with two heat pipes that expel hot air via grilles located on the upper part of the product. Thus, the air does not bother the user. As for the fresh air, it is sucked in via two vents located at the back.
What does ROG Ally want to bring compared to the competition?
The ROG Ally wants to bet on several particular points to seduce the buyer. We can obviously talk about its technical sheet, but there are other interesting things. Unlike the Steam Deck, ROG Ally will be compatible with all launchers, so it will be possible to play all the titles released on PC. It could also give pride of place to emulation. A real plus.
The built-in Armory Crate software could also bring a welcome dose of customization, with the ability to remap the keys, manage noise, heating or even the RGB lights present on the terminal.
Finally, the last big argument from Asus is in its compatibility with external ROG XG Mobile GPUs. By connecting the ROG Ally, it is possible to enjoy 4K on an external display. What to seduce more than one.
When will ROG Ally be released?
The ROG Ally does not currently have a release date. Asus promises it will be unveiled soon and even hinted that we shouldn’t have to wait too long before we can get our hands on it.
At what price will the ROG Ally be sold?
No price announced by Asus for the moment. Looking at the features of the product, we can expect something more expensive than a Steam Deck (sold from 419 euros to 679 euros). For comparison, the Aya Neo 2 is sold at just over 1000 euros.
Who knows ? Maybe we will have a good surprise?