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Asus announces Steam Deck competitor, the ROG Ally

The Nintendo Switch really did a number on hardware manufacturers

Asus has revealed an all-new handheld gaming PC, and it looks set to directly compete with the Steam Deck. The new device, called the ROG Ally, was announced on April Fool’s day, leading everyone to believe it was all just a joke, but subsequent marketing from the company has confirmed it is very real.

The specs on the ROG Ally are pretty impressive, with a 1080p screen on board capable of refreshing at 120hz, a big leap from the Deck’s 800p60 display. It’s also reportedly using a custom chip from AMD, which uses a 4nm Zen 4 RDNA3 APU. If none of that makes sense to you, we’ll boil it down: on paper, that could be a lot better than the Steam Deck.

It’s also slimmer, more compact, and looks a lot nicer than the Steam Deck, and it’s about 60 grams lighter too, so it’s likely to be a lot more comfortable for long gaming sessions. That’s assuming it has a decent battery life, of course, which is another thing we don’t know yet.

So what else do we know? Well, it’s running Windows 11, which should make compatibility a lot less of a struggle for games and their developers as most Steam games work fine on Windows already, but may also come with some nasty resource overhead not present on the Steam Deck.

It’s reportedly going to be compatible with Asus’ ROG XG Mobile eGPU, a $2000 external GPU that would boost graphics and frame rates to even higher heights, at the expense of being hooked up to a box via a cable.

YouTuber Dave2D was lucky enough to go hands-on with the device ahead of the announcement, and had good things to say. It’s reportedly much quieter than Valve’s handheld, and will apparently be “competitively” priced. The Steam Deck goes for about $400, and while we don’t think Asus can quite match that with these specs, it could get pretty close.

So far, there’s no release date, pricing, or firm specs for the device, but if Asus can get the price down to near-Steam Deck levels, and work its distribution channels to make the launch a little smoother than the Deck’s, it could very well be a worthy competitor.