Launching in the beginning of 2022, Valve’s Steam Deck had good hype and intrigue surrounding it, even shipping 1 million units by October the same year. Since then, Steam Deck’s somewhat average reviews have been steadily increasing with software updates and more gamers willing to take a chance on the system. One of its biggest complaints was its terrible 2 – 8 hours battery life depending on the game. However, there is a new competitor in town, ASUS’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) Ally.
ROG Ally Details – What We Know so Far
There’s a New Steam Deck in Town
This potential Steam Deck killer is purely in prototype status, but it is already gaining some traction and raising some eyebrows. Of course, there is not much information. However, Youtuber Dave2D got his hands on a prototype from ASUS and shared what he was able to see. Let’s break down what ASUS was willing to share so far.
Unlike the Steam Deck, which uses the custom SteamOS, the ROG Ally uses Windows 11. As a result, the ROG Ally could be more compatible with other gaming as a service platforms like the Xbox Game Pass. While the Steam Deck is intuitive, having an operating system as globally used as Windows might open up some more options.
ROG Ally Performance
According to Dave2D, the ROG Ally could have as much as double the performance as the Steam Deck. Apparently, this is due to the ROG Ally having a new AMD Zen 4 RDNA3 APU. However, this is not confirmed and even the processor itself is new, only being announced earlier this year. As a result, there is limited information about the performance of the Zen 4 processor, but it is thought to be the processor of choice for ASUS’s new line of laptops coming out this year. How it performs in the ROG Ally is yet to be seen, but it will more than likely be capped in some capacity.
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When it comes to how visually stunning games could look the ROG Ally seems to have a leg up on the Steam Deck. The ROG Ally has the same 7 inch screen as the Steam Deck, however its aspect ratio is 16:9. Compared to the Steam Deck’s 16:10, this ratio supports the universal 16:9 gaming ratio, getting rid of the black bars running along the screen for some of the games on the Steam Deck. Also, the ROG Ally boasts a higher resolution at 1920 X 1080 and a 120 Hz refresh rate. While the Steam Deck sits at 1280 x 800 and a 60 Hz refresh rate. Dave2D also claimed the ROG Ally was able to hit a higher FPS rate at better graphics settings during his hands on experience.
Cooling fans seem simple and are an oversight most of the time. However, anyone who has ever played a console or PC whose fans sound like they are about to take off into outer space knows how distracting it is. Dave2D was able to do some investigating and compared the decibels of the ROG Ally to the Steam Deck. The ROG Ally came in much quieter at around 20 db compared to Steam Deck’s 37 db. Watching the video, Dave2D was clearly blown away by this aspect.
ROG Ally Dimensions and Controller Layout
The ROG Ally has a similar layout to the Xbox One controller. With two thumb sticks offset from each other and D-pad and four buttons opposite of each other. The buttons are also larger and there is one pair of mapped back buttons. However, for better or worse the ROG Ally does not have touch pads like the Steam Deck. Dave2D also addresses the ergonomics of the ROG Ally, saying the grips are not as comfortable as the Steam Deck’s. Specific size and weight dimension are as follows according to Dave2D:
The ROG Ally: 280 mm x 113 mm x 39 mm and 608 grams.
Steam Deck: 298mm x 117mm x 50.5mm and 669 grams.
Supported Connections and Port Layout
ASUS’s ROG Ally supports multiple connections for all gaming needs. It comes with a headphone jack, Micro SD slot, Volume rocker, and a USB C port for charging. The ROG Ally will also connect to ASUS’s XG Mobile allowing for external GPU support. According ASUS the 2023 version of the XG Mobile features an RTX 4090 GPU. Moreover, this ROG Ally seemingly has the potential to be a very power mobile gaming battle station.
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Pricing and Vendors
Unfortunately, with the ROG Ally being in prototype status there is no official price tag or timeline for purchase. However, one Reddit user claimed the price tag is between $649 – $899 depending on storage. Dave2D said the price will be “competitive”, but the price will not be confirmed until closer to launch. For now, potential buyers can go to Best Buy and sign up to be notified when the ROG Ally is available for pre-order. Until then stay tuned for more updates!