Sometimes, companies, for some strange reasons also choose to make real announcements on April 1. ASUS decided to do the same thing as they announced ASUS ROG Ally which is expected to give a tough competition to Steam Deck. If you somehow missed the announcement trailer, you should check it out first:
While the trailer showed a lot of features of the upcoming handheld gaming console, pricing and the release date was missing. Now, if a reddit leaker is to be believed, ASUS ROG will be priced at $649 for 512GB model and $899 for 1TB Model. According to the leaker (no verification on the information yet), the two variants will be available in both white and black color. So far, we have seen only the white color in action.
The ASUS ROG Ally will be using Windows 11 however, according to the leaker a custom ASUS OS is being worked on. The handheld will make use of Armour-Crate, Asus’ proprietary software.
As for the release date, it’s claimed that Asus Rog Ally will release in October, 2023. Officially, Asus hasn’t opened the pre-orders yet but since we already have early impressions of the device from creators, the pre-orders could open soon. All those early impressions are in favor of Asus Ally and we can have a great competitor.
The leaker also claimed that apart from eGPU support, the handheld console will support VR as well. Asus Rog Ally seems to have full support of Xbox Game Pass as it’s being primarily marketed with the handheld.
The most weird bit of the leak that caught me attention is that Sony also is apparently working on a handheld device. This is weird because whenever the topic came up, Sony Interactive Entertainment has categorically denied of returning to handheld gaming. Have they finally changed their mind about it after the success of Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch? Well, for now, all we can do is speculate as there is not concrete information on it.
Microsoft on the other hand is teaming up with Logitech for a cloud based handheld device so they are exploring portable gaming as well. Hopefully we will receive the official announcements of price and release date of Asus Rog Ally soon.