The first big new console brand of the year was previewed this week in Johannesburg, as Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) set the scene for the release of its highly anticipated ROG Ally from 15 June.
The handheld gaming device can now be pre-ordered in South Africa and will be available from two local retailers. Asus gave the media a foretaste of the device on Wednesday night, showing off its use as a stand-alone console, as well as connected to a PC, and connected to a TV screen via a dock, using gaming controllers.
Most impressively, because it runs on Windows 11, it also operates as a small computer, allowing web browsing, social media access and other Windows functions.
The ROG Ally, powered by an AMD Ryzen Z1 series processor, is a formidable Windows 11 gaming handheld that offers impressive performance. With its cutting-edge processor, the Ally can handle both AAA games and indie titles. Its bright and high refresh rate touchscreen display ensures clear visibility of game content, even in outdoor gaming scenarios. The Ally’s lightweight design, weighing only 608 grams, and ergonomic handholds, make it comfortable to carry and use.
At the core of the ROG Ally’s capabilities lies the powerful AMD Ryzen Z1 series processor with RDNA 3 graphics. This purpose-built APU delivers high levels of handheld gaming performance, catering to gamers who enjoy both lightweight indie titles and graphically intensive AAA games. To ensure optimal thermal management, ROG has incorporated its Zero Gravity thermal system, featuring a dual-fan system with ultra-thin heatsink fins and high-friction heat pipes. This innovative design ensures that the ROG Ally stays cool regardless of its orientation.
In terms of visual performance, the ROG Ally is equipped with a 120 Hz full HD (1080p) panel supported by FreeSync Premium. This means gamers should experience exceptional motion clarity in fast-paced games, without tearing or stuttering . The display boasts a maximum brightness of 500 nits, allowing gamers to keep track of the action indoors and outdoors. The touchscreen display facilitates seamless navigation of the Windows desktop, providing convenience for adjusting settings or installing new games.
The ROG Ally runs on Windows 11, providing gamers with access to the entire Windows 11 library of games and game streaming services on a single device. Navigating the Windows desktop is a smooth experience, supported by the Ally’s joysticks, buttons, and Windows’ touchscreen functionality.
The ROG Ally comes with a Special Edition of Armoury Crate, customised software that offers quick performance mode toggles, a game launcher, in-game monitoring software, and Aura Sync support. ROG is offering a bundled 90-day trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, granting users access to a vast library of games from Xbox Game Studios, indie developers, and blockbuster titles.
The design of the ROG Ally prioritises ergonomics and portability. ROG says its engineers dedicated extensive effort to perfecting the handheld’s shape and weight, resulting in a device that is comfortable to carry and offers uninterrupted gameplay. The handgrips feature triangle texturing on the rear, providing a solid hold from any angle while reducing the risk of accidental slipping. The palm side of the grip also showcases ROG styling lines, adding to the device’s aesthetic appeal.
South African customers can now pre-order the ROG Ally for R15,999 for the Z1 Extreme variant, from two retailers. Orders will be shipped starting from 15 June, and the ROG Ally will also be available for purchase at Makro stores nationwide from the same date. To pre-order, customers can visit the ROG Ally product page on the ASUS e-commerce store or place their orders through Makro’s website.