Asus Republic of Gamers’ Facebook and Instagram page posted the teaser to the ROG Ally on April 1st. A lot of people thought that the product was part of April Fool’s. Then two days later, ROG posted that it is a real product and not an April Fool’s joke which leaves every gamer really excited.
The ROG Ally is a Windows OS gaming handheld that allows you to pick up and play your game libraries wherever you are, whenever you want. Asus claims that the display is FHD which means the display is 1080p. ROG is a brand which aims for power users. But slapping that Windows 11 OS on the ROG Ally makes it a significantly friendlier choice. It will sport a familiar interface. It also suggests that I can install games and other launchers on it (including Steam, Origin, Epic, X-Box Live, etc.)
Currently, Asus has made a page for this product on their website (CA) and also on Best Buy (US). You can also sign up to get a notification for an update on this specific product.
What to expect in this product?
There are a few factors to consider about this release:
- Primarily, the hardware specs of the ROG Ally.
- Are the games saved locally or is it streamed on the cloud?
- What’s the price point of the device?
- Is it comparable with Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch?
These are just some of the questions consumers may have before buying this device over the other.
It’s better to have competition
More competition is welcome with today’s handheld gaming hardware present. The Nintendo Switch is an excellent handheld gaming platform (moreover, it’s dockable to a big screen TV). However its draw-back is the stunted hardware performance on its current games – e.g. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Personally the Switch is my primary handheld gaming system. The latest model is the Switch OLED which features a bigger and a much more vibrant screen. Yet Nintendo admits last year that the Switch is on its middle of its lifecycle. But this year, we’re seeing rumors of the next Nintendo console.
The Steam Deck is Steam’s first gen handheld gaming machine where you can play your Steam Library locally. It runs on SteamOS and you install the games in it. But the problem is NOT ALL of your Steam games are Steam Deck supported. Until now – I have a couple of games in mind that I’m waiting for Steam Deck support.
The Aya-Neo is another handheld competitor. Their product line started as a handheld for nostalgia. That is to play past gen consoles (namely past Playstation, X-box, Gamecube, etc. games). Now it’s gearing towards contemporary games with the AyaNeo Next Pro. However Aya-Neo needs more brand exposure and recognition. Consumers may be buying the wrong model – contemporary games versus retro games.
There’s also the Logitech G Cloud. It’s a handheld cloud gaming machine where you can play some of your libraries – namely Xbox Live, Steam, Google PlayStore. The Logitech G Cloud is cheaper but cloud gaming is not for everyone especially with latency problems. Furthermore handheld that can play games locally fulfill the market for cloud gaming as well.
The bottom line
We’re looking for a handheld as powerful as a modern gaming laptop. Additionally, one that is relatively cheaper and portable. A gaming laptop is still bulky, but some consumers do think twice and ask themselves: should I buy this next-gen handheld or should I just buy a gaming laptop? Folks found their need to play on the Switch (and I’m still figuring out what to play on the Steam Deck). Let’s hope that the ROG Ally can insert itself as a major player on the handheld gaming with a clear advantage of why I should choose it over the rest.