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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Asus ROG Ally PC Gaming Handheld Is Now Available

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We've entered an exciting new era of handheld PC gaming. The Steam Deck was the first major piece of hardware to hit the market with reasonable specs and pricing — but now, with the release of the Asus ROG Ally, there's finally some decent competition. The Ally is now available to purchase exclusively at Best Buy.

Unlike the Deck, the Asus ROG Ally is a straight-up Windows machine. That means it can run pretty much everything on Steam, as well as games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Destiny 2, which don't work on Steam Deck. It should also take significantly less tinkering to run games from launchers like Epic Games Store, Battlenet, and the rest.

Asus ROG Ally Is Exclusively Available at Best Buy

ASUS ROG Ally - 512GBOut June 13ASUS ROG Ally – 512GB Best Buy exclusive.$699.99

The Ally costs $50 more than the most expensive Steam Deck configuration, but it is a more powerful and flexible machine. That doesn’t necessarily mean the user experience is better overall — see our Asus ROG Ally review for details — but it does give you a lot of gaming bang for your buck, especially compared to previous handheld devices running Windows. It's also worth noting that the Ally's software has been updated since our review hit, ironing out some of the more annoying wrinkles.

Asus ROG Ally Accessories

Let's get into the specs. The Ally has a 7-inch 1080p display, with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s powered by the AMD Z1 Extreme processor (a less powerful Z1 model is coming in Q3, for $599.99). It runs on the Windows 11 operating system, which means you can load it up with all your games from the Epic Games Store, Steam, GOG, Ubisoft Connect, and any other launcher you have lying around, and they’ll play just like they would on a gaming laptop or PC. That’s a big leg up over Steam Deck, whose Linux-based SteamOS makes you jump through technical hoops to get other launchers up and running.

That also means it works seamlessly with Xbox Game Pass, a service that offers hundreds of games, including first-party Microsoft titles like Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, and, in September, Starfield.

That’s not to say it’s without drawbacks. For one, you can’t always suspend games and turn off the display on the Ally, like you can on Deck. For another, the Ally lacks the trackpads the Deck has. Check out our full Asus ROG Ally vs. Steam Deck comparison for more info on that front.

If you’re eager to get your hands on a (relatively) affordable Windows gaming handheld, the Asus ROG Ally delivers a terrific mix of power and affordability. Pick up one today, and start playing all your PC games away from your PC. If you've already secured yours, be sure to check out all our recommendations for the best ROG Ally accessories as well.


Chris Reed is a commerce editor and deals expert for IGN. He also runs IGN's board game and LEGO coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed or on Mastodon @chrislreed.

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