Multiple leaks have apparently confirmed the pricing of Asus’s upcoming handheld gaming console, the ROG Ally – or at least, one version of it. And it looks like good news for those of us who've been looking forward to its arrival.
According to a leaked Best Buy store screenshot from @wickedkhumz, a tweet from known hardware leaker @_snoopytech_, and another separate claim made by ‘retail intelligence’ leaker Roland Quandt, the price of the ROG Ally will be $699.99 – and that’s specifically for the high-end model, which packs an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
While we don’t know what cheaper models of the Ally will look like yet (it’s currently looking like we’ll get at least one other version, presumably with the standard Ryzen Z1 chip and 256GB of storage), this is some seriously competitive pricing.
Best Buy product page leaked the price of the Asus ROG Ally. It will be priced at $699 dollars for the 16GB/512GB variant. pic.twitter.com/CbfERTkGT4April 27, 2023
Looking at the Steam Deck, the Ally’s main competitor in the handheld PC gaming space, the high-end model (with comparable storage but a less powerful AMD processor) costs $649 in the US. That extra fifty dollars nets you a whole lot more gaming performance, if AMD’s pre-launch statistics about the Z1 and Z1 Extreme APUs prove to be accurate.
Naturally, since this is a leak, caution is advised. But with multiple sources corroborating the same price tag, I feel pretty confident that’s the list price we’re going to see when the Ally launches – and the leaked Best Buy screenshot suggests that it could be with us pretty soon, since it lists a release date of June 13.
A revolution for the handheld gaming space?
The cheapest Steam Deck (which only has a measly 64GB of slower eMMC storage) will cost you $349, so it’s fair to say that handheld PC gaming consoles still aren’t exactly accessible. The cheaper handheld console you can buy right now is actually the Nintendo Switch Lite, which costs $199.99 / £199.99 – but that’s a console running six-year-old hardware, and you’re limited to Nintendo’s catalog of games.
If Asus can provide a sub-$500 price for the Z1 model of the ROG Ally, I’ll be intrigued; sure, it’ll still be expensive, but the performance jump from the Steam Deck should be impressive – and that opens up the field for more great handhelds in the near future.
Nintendo, Valve, and smaller companies like AyaNeo will need to step up their game if they want to compete with Asus’s new handheld – which is good news for AMD, since it makes the APUs that power all of these devices.
The Z1 chips could be exactly the kick in the pants the handheld gaming industry needs to get back on its feet: ever since the improvement of phones as viable gaming platforms, the space has become rather desolate. With Asus putting up some seriously good pricing and a high-quality console – judging by our hands-on review – we can probably expect other manufacturers to strike back later this year.
So, Steam Deck 2? Nintendo Switch 2? AyaNeo 3? All quite likely. Hell, perhaps we’ll even see Sony decide to throw its hat back into the ring with a new PlayStation Portable. Please, Sony. I’ll give you my firstborn child for one of those.