Asus Hopes Its Upgraded ‘ROG Ally X’ Can Compete Against the Steam Deck OLED

Asus Hopes Its Upgraded ‘ROG Ally X’ Can Compete Against the Steam Deck OLED

The Asus ROG Ally is not even yet a year old, but the gaming handheld built to rival the Steam Deck (at least, the one that came the closest to dethroning Valve’s handheld goliath) is coming back with an upgrade. Details are rather sparse, but the update could include a new coat of paint, better storage, more RAM, and—perhaps most importantly for users—a microSD slot that won’t ruin your cards.

The big question for Asus is, even with the upgrade, can it attempt to defeat Valve’s own Deck refresh with that damn pretty OLED display. In a stream from the ROG headquarters, Asus reps said that on July 2, the company would reveal an “ROG Ally X.” Is it a refresh? Not exactly? A new console? Not quite. The senior manager of marketing at ROG, Whitson Gordon, said on the stream that it’s somewhere in between, though it will be “built for the enthusiast who wants a bit extra.”

The new console will have the same AMD Z1 Extreme APU and VRR display, but it could see big improvements to storage, RAM, and other “physical changes.” The Ally X could have a better battery, and “not by a little bit,” according to Gordon.

As for an actual reveal, we’ll have to wait until June 2 during Computex. The pair did spell out a few new improvements in what’s being called Armory Crate SE 1.5, which will also come to the original Ally.


The next ROG Ally is coming…

The sequel, or really the refresh to the ROG Ally, had already been hinted at in the weeks leading up to now. Videocardz has already reported that Asus plans to share the new handheld console at Computex in Taiwan next month. Hell, Asus itself already hinted at its new handheld earlier this month in a tweet, as first noted by The Verge. The new Ally could have a black veneer instead of a white one. Because of the color shift, the new Ally could look rather close to an MSI Claw, which, funnily enough, already bore a striking resemblance to Asus’ design.

We weren’t really expecting anything too massive from ROG. After all, it’s only been a little more than a year since the company first announced the Ally. Still, a new console with a better battery life would be a significant improvement, especially considering the Steam Deck OLED also received an upgraded battery along with the new display.

Despite initial reviews on Asus’ handheld being largely positive (especially after a few months of updates), Ally users started reporting a major issue with the hardware that would essentially bake your SD card reader, which could also damage the microSD card inside. The company has since expanded the warranty on its handheld with an extra promise to reimburse users for damaged cards. Still, as The Verge first reported earlier this month, that hasn’t guaranteed the SD card reader won’t malfunction in the future.

The original Steam Deck was also largely unfinished on release but didn’t suffer as major a hardware failure as Asus did. Since then, there’s been an explosion of new handheld consoles from a motley of smaller companies like Ayaneo and major OEMs like Lenovo with its Legion Go. There’s never been more handhelds available on the market today. If you want to see all those released recently or that are yet to come out, this handy document on the r/SBCGaming subreddit shows you how many consoles are currently on the market. Obviously, that market’s only going to get bigger.

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