Asus ROG Ally

Asus is hosting a launch event for its ROG Ally PC handheld in May

The Steam Deck competitor’s price tag will be ‘below $1,000’

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Asus has is hosting a launch event for its handheld PC gaming device, the ROG Ally, on May 11. The announcement comes just over a week after Asus said the Ally release may be “sooner than you expect.” Given that the device was only announced on April 1, May 11 certainly fits the bill of “sooner than we expected.”

Asus is keeping most of the ROG Ally’s details close to the chest for now. On May 11, the company is hosting a launch event to reveal the full system specs, price, and availability. A spokesperson told PC Gamer that the price “will be below $1,000. 200% it will be below $1,000.” PC Gamer’s preview also says the launch date is the same as the stream: May 11.

Price details aside, we did get a look at some technical specs. The Ally will pack a special 6-core, 12-thread Ryzen Z-1. There are also, according to previews, dual fans and “anti-gravity heat pipes” to deal with thermal concerns.

New handheld on the block

YouTuber Dave2D was one of the first people to get their hands on the ROG Ally, and the device showed incredible potential. In his own comparisons, the ROG Ally boasted up to twice the performance of the Steam Deck in certain titles. It’s an impressive feat since the Steam Deck is only a smidge over one-year-old at this point.

Other competitors to the Steam Deck, like the Ayaneo 2, exist that beat it on performance. Yet, no other PC handheld has come close to the Steam Deck in terms of price. Valve hasn’t said if it’s selling the Deck at a loss, but president Gabe Newell did state in 2021 that its pricing on the Deck was “painful,” but also “critical.” Still, Valve has Steam, while Asus doesn’t currently have a storefront to generate additional revenue after an ROG Ally’s been sold.

If Asus can launch its ROG Ally at anywhere close to the highest tier, 512GB Steam Deck at $649, Valve may have a fight on its hands. Asus has the pedigree to come out swinging too. The company currently sells gaming-dedicated tablets like the ROG Flow Z13, so it’s used to pushing the envelope when it comes to gaming. Particularly portable gaming.

All will be revealed in due course, as the ROG Ally launch event will take place on YouTube and Twitch on May 11 at 10 am ET.

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Matt Cook
Matt Cook is an experienced video game writer. When he isn't writing about games, he can be found playing everything from the NES to the PS5 and tinkering with retro consoles. He can be found on Twitter @360cookie.