By | March 19, 2023

Given the date on the calendar and the lack of a price or other details, my first response to Asus ROG (Republic of Gamers) surprisingly announcing a handheld gaming machine was this must be an april fools joke.

Still, this Asus ROG Ally launch video was just a little too good to just shake off—the one link to Best Buy and the use of real games that High on life, Moving outand WRC Generations seemed unusual for a prank, and now we know why. After waiting a couple of days, Asus has confirmed it’s a real device (well, as real as a product can be without a launch date, detailed specs or price) and says players can register with Best Buy for details on when pre-orders start.

According to Asus, the Windows 11-powered ROG Ally has a custom Ryzen APU from AMD inside, which Aerith SOC inside Valve’s Steam Deckand Asus claims it’s the fastest from AMD to date.

While Valve’s Steam Deck has been the most successful attempt to make PC gaming a truly portable experience, there are plenty of competitors, such as Ayano 2 or other Switch-like machines from GPD and OneXPlayer. But in our experience, they have relied on an AMD 6800U chipset instead of a custom design and in general it lacks the right combination of horsepower and efficiency that we want to see from handheld gaming machines.

Dave2D comparison of the Asus ROG Ally display against Valve’s Steam Deck.Image: Dave2D (Youtube)

A hands-on video by Dave2D confirms global launch plans from Asus as well as a few more specs, like it being smaller, lighter and flatter than Valve’s gaming machine — 608g / 280mm x 113mm x 39mm for the Ally vs 669g / 298mm x 117mm x 50.5mm for the steam Tires.

The ROG Ally has a seven-inch 16:9 display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 500 nits of brightness and a 120HZ refresh rate, compared to the Steam Deck specs, which are listed as a seven-inch 16:10 display at 1280 x 800 resolution , 400 nits of brightness and a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

He also said that the prototype was much quieter than sometimes noisy Steam Deck, measures in at around 20dB compared to the tire’s 37dB under load, with a dual-fan system that draws air in from the back and vents it out at the top. He also noted that the SSD and joysticks appeared to be easy to replace.

Having a few more pixels, a higher refresh rate and a more powerful processor sounds great, but it can also strain the battery when you’re gaming on the go, and Windows 11 is a question mark compared to SteamOS for efficiency. So far, Dave2D said that details about the battery were not available, as were any information about pricing other than that it will be competitive.

The ROG Ally also features the standard visible setup of dual analog sticks, a left-mounted D-pad and four face buttons, plus some smaller buttons around the screen for accessing menus and settings. Going beyond Steam Deck dollit even advertises the ability to “experience Ally’s full potential” by plugging in the ROG XG Mobile eGPU that the company offers for use with its gaming laptops while streaming your games to a TV.

More than anything, the machine featured in the video looked fully designed and ready to roll out as a powerful entry into the portable gaming market. It was certainly more realistic than what Asus posted on April Fools’ Day 2022, with a concept “Smart Lens” for eye-controlled gestures (also featured in the Ally launch video) that it later revealed was a joke. In addition, Asus is also the company that has just unleashed this ROG Flow Z13 Acronym laptop that defies all belief and understanding.

Asus ROG Ally

Image: Asus

Update April 3, 10:29 a.m. ET: After the April Fools’ Day teaser and a confusing LinkedIn post from a head of product management, Asus has announced that the ROG Ally gaming handheld is actually a real product that tells people to “stay tuned for more.” The post has been updated to reflect that.

Update April 3, 11:24 a.m. ET: Added video from Dave2D and additional specification information.

#Asus #ROG #Ally #handheld #gaming #real #April #fools #joke

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