Is the ROG Ally The Handheld to Get in 2023?

We’ve talked a lot about the Vita here. What a surprise, huh? Never could have seen it coming on a site called Vita Player. But we’ve also spoken about the Steam Deck. That’s because Valve’s handheld, along with the Nintendo Switch, totally rejuvenated the handheld gaming market in the past few years. Now Asus has jumped into the market with the ROG Ally, and the first reviews have started popping up. So, is the ROG Ally the handheld to get in 2023?

Handheld Background

It’s important to take a bit of stock before we talk about the Ally. Before the Steam Deck, all major handheld gaming devices were manufactured by either Sony or Nintendo. Of course, a handheld will have less power than a gaming PC or a dedicated gaming console. But it was also a much tighter ecosystem.

When the Steam Deck came out, the floodgates opened. It was no longer a huge chore to run anything you wanted: emulators, web games, whatever. If you were in the mood, you could play Horizon: Zero Dawn. Or if you were feeling a little lucky, you could open up a browser and try your luck with 10 euro no deposit bonus 2023 in an online casino. That’s something you couldn’t do on the Vita or the Switch. Real money gambling was out of the question on those devices. With a portable PC like the Steam Deck, the sky really was the limit.

The ROG Ally

So, the Steam Deck is now over a year old, and a lot has happened in the handheld space. Companies are scrambling to compete in what has proven to be a very profitable market. But nobody has been able to compete with the Steam Deck in features and bang-for-buck. Until now.

The Asus ROG Ally doesn’t come from some Chinese company you may or may not be able to trust, like AYA or Odin. It comes from Asus. And reviewers are saying that the ROG Ally lives up to the Asus name: great specs, really good build quality, fantastic software support and a surprisingly… not-too-crazy price.

The Ally sports an AMD APU (which means CPU and graphics card combo) that far outperforms the one in the Steam Deck. And if you by the top-tier Deck, you’re not far off the money it’ll cost you for the top-tier Ally.

Games that ran at 30fps can now run at 60fps. 720p is now 1080p. But more importantly, newer games like The Last of Us that barely ran at all, now run well enough to be enjoyed. And this will be a key factor as we move into the future and more games are optimized for the ridiculously powerful PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Should You Get It?

I mean, $700 is a lot of money. No question. And that’s the top end model. The model powered by the Z1 processor (not the Z1 Extreme) will retail for $600. However, it’ll have similar performance to that of the Steam Deck.

So, I’d say, if you want to get your PC gaming on the go, go for the Steam Deck. The base model starts at $400, and you’ll get 90% of the benefits of the $600 Ally: nigh-on the same performance, you still get a desktop OS you can use a browser on to visit a trustly mobile casino, more and cheaper games via Steam, GOG and so on.

But if you want to get top-end performance, it’s now cheaper than ever to do so. What you get for $700 today rivals what you would get for $1500 just last year in devices from Aya, Odin and GPD.

Where Does The Vita Fit Today?

What about the Vita? Well, our beloved handheld is likely to run you about US$100 used in the current market for a decent example, and it’ll run native games, PSP games, and after hacking, homebrew and emulation. Sure, it’s not as powerful, and the game selection is slimmer. But if you’re a portable gamer on a budget, you still can’t beat the Vita.

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About Simon Plumbe 1062 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian. Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee: http://ko-fi.com/simonplumbe