Asus has been at pains to clarify that it was making the ROG Ally handheld gaming PC lengthy earlier than Valve launched its Steam Deck. Certain, it is an AMD-powered PC console, similar to Valve made, however Asus has launched a picture of a choice of totally different prototype fashions from the 5 years of iteration earlier than deciding on the Ally design. Identical to Valve launched.

The corporate has simply unveiled the ROG Ally forward of its full launch on Could 11 this 12 months, and we have been speaking with Asus concerning the machine itself, and the way it matches into the burgeoning handheld gaming PC market.

However would the Ally exist had been it not for the Steam Deck, we requested?

“Sure, it might nonetheless exist,” Galip Fu, Asus’ international advertising and marketing director tells us, “however maybe not as quickly as 2023. Valve has been a central determine within the PC gaming trade for many years and has a particular place within the hearts of players, together with us.

“Whereas we have now had the design for a Home windows-based PC gaming handheld system prepared for a while, we had been ready for one thing that would provide the final word gaming expertise—one thing that would meet the efficiency calls for of players.”

And that is where these typically grim-looking prototypes are available—like, I imply what the hell is that this meant to be?! It seems to be like some kind of 1950’s pseudo futuristic TV, and I don’t know whether or not that is a stand or where you are meant to be holding the system.

(Picture credit score: Asus)

And this? Is that this prototype actually only a cellphone with a lump of brown modelling clay connected (my mind retains going in the direction of excrement, however I reside with a pair of toddlers in order that’s a given)?

(Picture credit score: Asus)
Steam in your arms

Steam Deck with an image from Elden Ring overlayed on the screen

(Picture credit score: Future, FromSoftware)

Steam Deck overview: Our verdict on Valve’s handheld PC.
Equipment for the Steam Deck: Get decked out
Steam Deck availability: Find out how to get one.
Steam Deck battery life: What’s the true battery lifetime of the brand new system?
Steam Deck – The emulation dream machine: Utilizing Valve’s handheld {hardware} as the final word emulator.

It definitely does appear to be Asus wanted Valve’s encouragement to really push ahead with this concept, as a result of it positive seems to be prefer it was going to a foul place design-wise. But it surely’s additionally wanted the {hardware}, as a result of 5 years in the past we had been nowhere close to having the best silicon that would ship gaming and battery life in that type issue.

Hell, we had been a few years away from even the Alienware UFO idea that appeared like a good suggestion on the time, even when it did not have the efficiency and was anticipating to value properly over a thousand {dollars}.

“The Steam Deck’s introduction in 2021 was a terrific encouragement for us,” says Fu. “It impressed us to speed up our collaboration with AMD to develop one thing much more superior—one thing that’s highly effective and environment friendly sufficient for contemporary PC handheld gaming.”

And the AMD Z1 and Z1 Excessive chips appear to be the correct of {hardware} to be sticking right into a handheld gaming PC, nevertheless you form the outsides. On the low finish you are speaking about way more GPU energy than the Steam Deck can provide, and on the high finish of 8.6 TFLOPS, with the Z1 Excessive, you are taking a look at desktop graphics card efficiency within the order of an RX 6600.

Although we do not know what that can do when it comes to thermals and battery life simply but. And even what it can do to the value. I wrestle to imagine the top-tier Ally handheld will stick with that “for positive… beneath $1,000” worth level. I suppose we’ll have to attend for the ROG Ally’s Could 11 launch to seek out out.