Asus ROG Ally First Look
Asus ROG Ally First Look
5:28

Asus ROG Ally First Look

Gaming
Speaker 1: I just got a chance recently to see and play around with something new and I think pretty exciting. It is. The Asus Ally, what is that? That is a handheld gaming device. It's probably the most similar to the steam deck from Valve in that it kind of looks like a Nintendo Switch, but it plays PC games. Speaker 1: And of course if you look at this compared to the Steam deck, the big difference [00:00:30] of course is that the Steam deck runs Steam Os, which is Val's proprietary operating system while the Ally runs Windows 11, a much more traditional PC experience. That said, they can both play steam games and frankly, they can both play games from other platforms, whether it's the, you know, Xbox games, uh, through Xbox, uh, cloud streaming. Now on the steam deck you have to kind of, you know, force those in. You have to kind of hack your way into getting those other services on there. On the Ally, uh, it's actually much easier. [00:01:00] Um, a lot of them are built in as platforms that are supported out of the box and of course, because it's a window system, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Now one big similarity between the two is that they both run AMD apus, which basically means AMD makes the CPU and GPU combo that powers them. Speaker 1: So again, a lot of similarity there and good for PC gaming. Uh, actually kind of similar to the amd parts of the power of the PlayStation five in the Xbox Series X, when I got a chance to pick up and play around with the Ally, the [00:01:30] first thing that really jumped out at me is that it is so much lighter than the steam deck is. It's about 600 something grands, which is like maybe 1.3 pounds I think for the ally. Meanwhile, the steam deck is definitely, uh, clunkier and heavier. Another thing that really jumped out at me is the screen, uh, which can do full HD 120 hertz and the screen has never been the biggest selling point of the steam deck. It's kind of small, lower resolution, lower refresh rate on the ally seems much nicer. And if you're carrying something around at the handheld gaming [00:02:00] system, I think that's a pretty key selling point. Speaker 1: Now, one thing that the Steam deck has that the Ally doesn't is the two little pads that are basically like, uh, uh, touch pads on a laptop, uh, that can control mouse cursor movement and let you play games that are very traditional PC games, um, a lot more easily than if you have to use these sticks and buttons, which is what you have to use on the ally. It's got the basic, you know, triggers and bumpers and two analog sticks. Um, and, and the four buttons, uh, that you would have on a traditional [00:02:30] console gaming controller, you know, an Xbox controller or something like that. Uh, and that obviously is not as great as the scene deck, having all those things and also the two touch pads, so you're missing out on this. Um, I did see a couple of examples like when I was in Windows 11 where that right stick, you use it basically like the mouse cursor and you can move around like that. Speaker 1: I don't know if that's gonna work as well in games as the little touch pads on the steam deck work. I do appreciate that both have micro SD card slots so you can expand the memory inside them. Uh, you can [00:03:00] fit more games onto them. Obviously, uh, modern games can take 50 gigs, 60 gigs even more space. So even if you have a five 12 gig storage drive in there, uh, you can eat that up pretty quickly. So with a microSD card slot, you can add another five 12 on my steam deck. I added a full terabyte card. Really made life a lot easier. But something else that the ally does that the steam deck doesn't is connect with Jesus's own external GPU box. I saw an example where they had it set up basically docked as a desktop computer. The ally [00:03:30] was sitting there docked, uh, it was connected to the Asus external GPU box, which you can buy. Speaker 1: I think they have, uh, Nvidia 40 70 version. I think maybe they have a 40, 80 or 40 90 version. They have an AMD version. Uh, they can cost I a thousand dollars, $1,500. They're pretty expensive. Uh, but then you have that going out into a, uh, display and a keyboard and mouse. Um, and you can have just a regular Windows 11 desktop set up and then you can obviously just unplug it and take it with you, uh, when it's stocked using the [00:04:00] external GPU box. That's the GPU who doesn't use the one built into the ally. When I saw the machine, uh, Asus was not speaking about the exact differences in the hardware configurations or what the prices were gonna be. They did say that it's probably gonna be less expensive than some of the rumors, which maybe have it at like six or $700, which is a lot for a handheld, uh, gaming machine, even if it is very versatile, especially because we've gotten used to the steam deck and what that costs, which is frankly a pretty good deal overall considering what you get. Speaker 1: So I'd expect the ally to come out [00:04:30] sometime maybe in, uh, may maybe slip into June, uh, but definitely not in the fall or holiday season. It's definitely a, a mid-year product. I'm very excited to get to try it out more In my initial hands-on, I thought it was great that it was so lightweight, really felt like a second generation of the hardware compared to the very similar steam deck. Like they've already learned a lot from that. Uh, I do miss having the thumb pads, the little, uh, touch pads, uh, for navigating the PC interface better. But in the brief time I spent [00:05:00] with it, I thought it worked pretty well with Windows 11 and I like that Windows 11 is gonna be much more flexible in terms of what, uh, game platforms you use to play on. It's been an exciting couple of years for handheld gaming. Besides things like the Ole Nintendo Switch, we've of course had the steam deck, the analog pocket, the panic play date, and I am very excited to add the Asus Ally to that lineup.

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