ASUS' New 'Ally' Gaming Handheld Is No Joke And Available For Pre-Order Soon

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ASUS has confirmed that it is launching a handheld gaming console, the ROG Ally, which is expected to compete with Valve's Steam Deck. After posting a teaser inopportunely on April 1, the company recently confirmed on social media that its announcement was not an April Fools' joke. In fact, pre-orders will be available soon, and you can already sign up to be notified when that happens at Best Buy.

According to YouTuber Dave2D, who was given an early engineering sample, the ROG Ally will feature a custom 4nm AMD chip based on Zen 4 and RDNA 3 architecture. Moreover, ASUS claims that the ROG Ally will offer double the performance of the Steam Deck, and it can plug into the company's external GPU product, the ROG XG Mobile eGPU. When plugged in, the device can display your games on the big screen (you can play with external controls) while charging simultaneously.

More revealed features include a 7-inch 16:9 display with a 1080p resolution screen. That's roughly the same size as the Steam Deck's display, but it beats the 1280 x 800 resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio in Valve's handheld. The ROG Ally's screen is also brighter at 500 nits (compared to Steam Deck's 400 nits) and it reaches up to 120 Hz refresh rate, besting its competitor's 60 Hz.

Ally sounds like a solid handheld gaming option

With such a powerful APU and more pixels to power, ASUS put significant R&D time behind the cooling solution. The Ally will feature a dual fan design that is supposedly whisper-quiet. Dave2D estimates the Ally's fan noise at around 20 db compared to 37 db for the Steam Deck, and while we're not sure how scientific his test was, the video comparison between the two makes it loud and clear that there is a significant difference.

As the ROG Ally runs Windows 11 natively, you'll essentially have your pick between any gaming service you want when it comes to sourcing games, including Steam, Xbox Game Pass, or the Epic Games Store. ASUS will have its own Armory Crate software loaded onto it as well, which organizes your games in an intuitive user interface and offers controls to optimize your gaming experience. The pricing is "very competitive," though it's hard to imagine it'll be cheaper or equal to the Steam Deck, given the significant advantages. We'll have to wait until ASUS announces its global availability details for the full picture.