Asus is set to release its latest handheld gaming console, the ROG Ally, on May 11th. While the company had hoped to keep details of the new device under wraps until its launch, several leaks have already surfaced, including the price of the top-spec model. However, this latest leak confirms that the AMD Ryzen Z1 variant of the console will be priced at US$599.
The ROG Ally is set to give Valve's Steam Deck a run for its money, especially when it comes to the top-spec model. The AMD Ryzen Z1 variant of the ROG Ally will come with a 256 GB NVMe SSD and 16 GB of LPDDR5 memory. While the storage space is only half of what its more expensive counterpart offers, Valve has made it easy for users to upgrade their storage, so it will be interesting to see if Asus follows suit.
While the specced-out version of the ROG Ally may be a serious competitor to the Steam Deck, the lower-end variant of the console may not be as enticing. The performance difference between the Ryzen Z1 and the Ryzen Z1 Extreme is significant, and it seems that Asus is following the industry trend of launching a less impressive SKU alongside a flagship model to make the latter look better.
However, the handheld gaming console market is becoming more competitive, and there are now plenty of options available from lesser-known brands that offer similar hardware for a more competitive price. Asus does have an advantage, though, with a better supply chain, larger marketing budget, and higher brand value. This should help the company gain market share, especially in areas where the Steam Deck isn't sold officially.
Asus is known for its high-quality gaming products, and the ROG Ally is no exception. The console features a 6.78-inch OLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 144Hz. It also has a built-in fingerprint scanner for added security and comes with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity options.
The ROG Ally's design is sleek and stylish, with a black and silver color scheme and an ergonomic shape that is comfortable to hold for extended gaming sessions. The console also features a built-in kickstand that allows users to prop it up on a flat surface for a more comfortable viewing experience.
In addition to the Ryzen Z1 variant, Asus will also be releasing an Intel Core i9 variant of the ROG Ally, which is expected to be priced at around US$1,200. This model will come with 512 GB of storage and 32 GB of LPDDR5 memory, making it a serious contender for the title of the most powerful handheld gaming console on the market.
Overall, the Asus ROG Ally looks like an impressive addition to the handheld gaming console market. While the lower-end variant may not be as enticing as its more expensive counterpart, the top-spec model with its AMD Ryzen Z1 processor, high-quality display, and sleek design could be a real game-changer. It remains to be seen how well it will sell, but with Asus' reputation for producing high-quality gaming products, it is likely to be a popular choice among gamers.