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Asus announce the ROG Ally gaming handheld

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More companies are beginning to see there is a market for a PC gaming handheld, with Asus planning to release the ROG Ally. Initially, this seemed like an April Fools joke but it turned out to be real.

For the GamingOnLinux readership it might not be exactly what you're going to instantly sign up for, since it will be coming with Windows 11, but it's interesting to see more companies jump in and no doubt after a while Linux drivers will appear like they do for pretty much everything. We may even see Valve support it with their eventual release of SteamOS 3.

Coming in a bit smaller than the Steam Deck with no touchpads, it will limit what you're able to play a bit more but it will have a 16:9 1080p display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a custom AMD APU they claim is the "fastest yet", a dual-fan design and eGPU support. Asus claim it will offer double the performance on the Steam Deck but they're not giving out any tech specs or battery life details.

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Asus are a much bigger name than the likes of AYANEO, GPD and Onexplayer so they could potentially offer prices a bit lower since they're likely able to take on a bit more of the costs. Naturally though, they will still have to price it at a point where it makes enough money to be profitable to a point where it makes sense, so I still expect it to be a fair bit higher than the Steam Deck pricing since they can't make up for it by the 30% cut Valve get from Steam games.

LinusTT and Dave2D managed to take a look at it:

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They're only prototypes right now, so there's of course every chance that Asus don't actually end up releasing it but given how far along it is, I imagine they will. You can follow it on Best Buy if you want to be notified of when it's available, no word yet on availability in various regions.

Given how Valve have clearly said there's no planned Steam Deck refresh for some time, as they're waiting for it to be truly worth it, this is the closest I've been to believing it has some real competition. It all depends on the price.

What do you think about this?

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42 comments
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Uberkeyser Apr 4, 2023
QuoteIt all depends on the price.

Well, kindof not at all. For me it all depends on the software, in particular the OS. The ASUS thingy won't stand a chance with me for being Windows 11 based.
And that is not because of ideology this and that; okay maybe a bit ideology, but mainly because I do not want to end up with a brick once MS decides to no logner support it (potentially on purpose because it competes with the Xbox ecosystem).

Booo booo, ASUS, booooooooo!
Liam Dawe Apr 4, 2023
I was speaking generally for the main market, where it absolutely depends on price. Linux fans are a tiny minority.
ben-green Apr 4, 2023
Quoting: Uberkeyser
QuoteIt all depends on the price.

Well, kindof not at all. For me it all depends on the software, in particular the OS. The ASUS thingy won't stand a chance with me for being Windows 11 based.
And that is not because of ideology this and that; okay maybe a bit ideology, but mainly because I do not want to end up with a brick once MS decides to no logner support it (potentially on purpose because it competes with the Xbox ecosystem).

Booo booo, ASUS, booooooooo!

I'm thinking it'll work well on Linux with those all AMD parts. Might need some HID work for the controller parts. Great looking device, but I can't imagine affording one and I already have a Steam Deck. But wow, the power. The Power.

"MS decides to no longer support it" - Well I mean this is Microsoft so there's a good chance they'll partly brick it _whilst_ supporting it. It's the Windows 11 way.
Termy Apr 4, 2023
Quoting: ben-greenI'm thinking it'll work well on Linux with those all AMD parts.

Pretty sure it will. I wouldn't want to support MS with 10% of the Unitprice though ;)
CAVR Apr 4, 2023
The hardware looks competent, no info on the price (I will be surprised if this is less than 800 USD), but there's one thing that really worries me: they said the UI is powered by their Armoury Crate software, which is probably one of the worst pieces of software I've had the displeasure of using in recent years. Asus is good with hardware, but I don't trust them with software at all. And finally, since they're using Windows, there won't be a quick suspend/resume feature, which is one of the most important things for a handheld device to have.

Edit: typo


Last edited by CAVR on 4 April 2023 at 11:13 am UTC
Bogomips Apr 4, 2023
When you think that cosmetic LEDs are useless enough, their is always a new challenger.
QYME Apr 4, 2023
What i'd want from a SD2 is quiter fan and a better screen (but still 16:10 for emulation). It got almost both.

However if the trade off is no steamOS, no trackpad, 2 less back button and no gaming mode with easy access to steaminput, i dunno about that. Even if it's way more powerfull. It would end up hooked to my monitor as a false regular pc. If the price is what i expect it to be 800~1200€$, a gaming laptop would at least come with a keyboard and a bigger screen at this point.

Also, no mention of gyro here, which is a bit concerning.

Still, i's good news as it can somehow push valve to make a better SD2 in a couple years (more like 5 ?) just by being a good competitor.


Last edited by QYME on 4 April 2023 at 2:35 pm UTC
natis1 Apr 4, 2023
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Per the Linus video it's double the performance at 35W and about 50% more performance at 15W TDP.

No word on lower TDPs but in combination with the much higher screen resolution and 120hz VRR it's probably going to chew through battery.
F.Ultra Apr 4, 2023
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Quoting: natis1Per the Linus video it's double the performance at 35W and about 50% more performance at 15W TDP.

No word on lower TDPs but in combination with the much higher screen resolution and 120hz VRR it's probably going to chew through battery.

In other words; the mobility depends on the length of your power cord.
Mrowl Apr 4, 2023
Now is the perfect time for Valve to consider releasing a "Steam Deck Mini", and sell it at the same $399 starting price point, but perhaps with 128GB eMMC, instead of 64?

All these companies keep using Steam Deck's large size as a selling point for their product, so a Steam Deck Mini would just outright kill that rhetoric.

It should use the same tech specs as the Deck, but with a larger capacity battery (50Wh, instead of 40Wh). And no, it doesn't need to have an OLED screen, it just needs to have a more vibrant IPS screen, with higher SRGB range (Steam Deck currently only covers around 60-68%).

If they can't do a Joy-Con style design, then they should consider taking off the trackpads, and emulating their functionality via "virtual trackpads" on the touchscreen. It wouldn't be as good as the physical ones, but it's better than nothing.

Lastly, I really want to see removable front and back plates, so we can customise the entire look of the thing. I would like to see the same level of modularity and user-replaceability, too.
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