The Steam Deck’s success paved the way for a new era of portable gaming systems, inevitably drawing other companies to join the market.
Valve’s previous hardware ventures, including the Steam Link, Steam Controller, and Steam Machine, didn’t fare well. In contrast, the Steam Deck was celebrated as one of the best tech innovations of 2022, primarily due to its capacity for playing PC games on the go.
Despite its limitations, the Deck has become a benchmark for portable gaming, and competitors are eyeing its top spot.
Asus ROG Ally: A Potential Steam Deck Competitor
Launching on May 11, the Asus ROG Ally may pose a challenge to the Steam Deck, given its impressive hardware specs. Its 1920×1080 screen with a 120Hz refresh rate outperforms Valve’s 1280×800 offering. Furthermore, the Asus system boasts RDNA 3 graphics—a generation beyond the Deck’s RDNA 2.
The Ally also comes with 512 GB of storage as standard, compared to the Deck’s more expensive model. Although having only one storage option may disadvantage the Ally, its Windows 11 OS should provide better compatibility right out of the box.
Initially mistaken for an April Fool’s joke, the Asus ROG Ally was announced as a Steam Deck alternative. While it’s unclear whether the Ally can dethrone the Deck, Valve must up its game to remain a dominant player in the portable gaming market.
Asus ROG Ally Hardware Specs
Design and connectivity
- Weight: 608g
- Dimensions: 280x113x39mm
- Xbox-style controls with 2x rear macro buttons
- Dual Dolby Atmos speakers
- Dual cooling fans
- 1x USB-C with DisplayPort
- 1x Asus XG connector (for external GPUs)
- 1x headphone jack
- 1x microSD slot
- WiFi 6E
- Fingerprint unlock
- Haptic feedback
- 7in IPS
- 1920×1080 resolution
- 120Hz refresh rate
- AMD FreeSync support
- 1000:1 contrast ratio
- 100% SRGB gamut coverage
- 500cd/m2 peak brightness
- Gorilla Glass DXC anti-reflective coating
Performance and Storage
- AMD Ryzen Z1 or AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme APU based on Zen 4 architecture
- RDNA 3 graphics
- 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
- 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD (M.2 2230 form factor)
- UHS-II microSD support
- Windows 11
- Asus ROG Armoury Crate SE
- Control panel overlay
- AMD RSR
- Customizable key mapping
Windows 11 Handheld Mode: A New Development
Microsoft has been experimenting with a Windows 11 Handheld Mode, suggesting a potential shift in the operating system’s UI to accommodate handheld devices.
This development isn’t necessarily bad news for the Steam Deck, as it allows for non-Steam software installation.
However, it does indicate that more companies are beginning to recognize the value of portable PC gaming.
It’s safe to say that Steam Deck is wary of its upcoming competitor, which is why they’ve been secretly revamping the hardware of the handheld PC.