ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) have announced the global availability of their ROG Ally handheld gaming console today, with the device available to pre-order in Australia now and arriving on June 13th.
While the ROG name is synonymous with PC Gaming, the ROG Ally is their first mobile gaming console. They are including the device as part of the ROG family moving forward and are committed to supporting it long term.
The hardware is impressive with a light 608gram chassis that sits comfortably in your hands and is designed for gaming for long periods of time. There’s textured bumpers on the top and rear and flat top ABXY buttons for easy gaming.
The ROG Ally will be powered by an AMD Z1 Extreme APU, though a more affordable model with a less powerful AMD Z1 APU will be coming at some stage in the future – though pricing hasn’t been announced.
There’s 16GB of DDR5 RAM on-board and to store your games there’s a PCIe 4.0 compatible 512GB SSD included which can be upgraded if you would like to down the track, as well as a microSD Card slot for storing games, or videos and more. The mobile console includes a bright 7-inch 1080p resolution display capable of up to 120Hz refresh rate with 7ms response.
ASUS ROG say that the ALLY is designed to be used by yourself on its own, or docked to a TV to play with your friends in a console like mode, or you can go Pro mode and even plug in their XG Flow Mobile eGPU which includes up to an RTX 4090 to really take mobile gaming to the next level.
ROG says that the battery will last around 2-3 hours of use, though you can choose to plug a USB Battery bank in if you’re on the go and want to play for longer. To charge though there’s a 65W charger included in the box which will get you up to full in around 2 hours.
The ROG Ally will come with everything you need to run it, including a cute cardboard ROG stand, 65W power supply and the device itself. But there’s going to be accessories, specifically a case and a HDMI dock.
The case will include a soft material inside to protect it and also a velcro pad which can be used to prop the case open and stand the ROG Ally up. The case will cost $49 and will also be available alongside the device when it goes on-sale.
There will also be an ASUS ROG Ally dock available to connect the mobile console to your TV with HDMI pass-through supporting up to 4K resolution. ASUS wanted it to be ready for launch however it will be here shortly, but in the meantime you can plug in any USB-C dock and it will work.
It’s powered by Microsoft Windows 11 and AMD hardware and will essentially play any game supported on Windows 11.
There’s been extensive testing but it comes with support for a good array of gaming services including Steam and EPIC Games store as well as Xbox Game Pass. EA and Ubisoft Connect are also supported and Amazon Luna too if/when that service launches in Australia. All that said, it IS running Windows, so if you want to run any Windows compatible games or software it should run.
The ROG team have built Armoury Crate Special Edition for the ALLY to help you map buttons, control performance and lots more. There’s also Aura Sync software included to help you control the RGB lighting around the thumbsticks.
Holy heck this thing is fun. Clocking in at just larger than a Nintendo Switch, the console sits extremely comfortably in the hand. It has a nice textured rear and bumpers, with all those buttons, triggers and thumbsticks and D-Pad intuitively placed and easy to find when playing. It certainly makes the hundreds of iterations the ROG team went through to get to this seem worth it.
The screen is bright and responsive and the speed at which it loads games and other applications is impressive for a mobile device. I was impressed with the ease with which you can pair controllers, or just plug a dock in and connect a keyboard and mouse and turn the system into a PC.
Gaming wise, it’s good. I got to play around with Minecraft, Hitman 3 and Halo and it’s awesome. The player experience is good with smooth gaming all round. Having only played with it for a half hour my first impressions are good, but I’m definitely keen to try it out with my own Steam games.
ASUS ROG have partnered with JB Hifi in Australia to launch the ROG Ally and it goes up for pre-order from today. The device will begin shipping globally, including in Australia, from June 13th.
Pricing wise, the AMD Z1 Extreme ROG Ally will start at $1,299. ASUS Australia have advised the less powerful AMD Z1 powered ROG Ally will be coming, but pricing and exact specs have not yet been confirmed.