ROG Ally owners: a thread for Asus' handheld gaming system

I bit.

June 13th, we expect a hands-on report from you Kadath.

D4 on it will be make or break for me

TheVerge has the most negative review I’ve seen yet.

Though they did have these positive things too:

It seems the Ally is well suited for everything ‘controller-supported’ - once you have started the game. Because everything else is ‘Windows with a gamepad on a screen not made for Windows’ and that might be an unpleasant way to experience a gaming device. Quite apart from the fact that games that don’t have controller support will remain unplayable or a most fiddly thing (without putting in a lot of effort; but maybe there are community layouts somewhere in the Ally environment as well?). At least that’s how I read The Verge review.

For me personally, I find the lack of trackpad/controller layout stuff more of a theoretical problem than a practical one. Even on a laptop I find playing strategy games with a trackpad pretty miserable with only a handful of exceptions. So if I were to get a handheld PC I suspect in practice I would only be playing controller games anyway, or if I really had an itch to play an RTS I’d just hook up a mouse. And again, while I like the concept of a retro handheld I’m pretty sure that in practice I would be playing modern games 95% of the time. So they would all support gamepads right out of the box. Assuming the Ally can emulate an Xbox controller (to be fair, I didn’t see anything explicitly stating that), it shouldn’t be an issue for me.

Yes and no. If you want to do generic Windows stuff, yeah, it’s not going to be great unless you hook up M+K. But if you just want to launch games, they have their own launcher, or you can even use Steam Big Picture.

Does anyone have any more detail on what the IGN review meant by this:

The biggest negative is that the Ally lacks the Steam Deck’s (and the Switch’s) ability to suspend and resume a game at the touch of a button. This means that any time you want to stop playing for longer than a simple pause, you’ll need to save and quit out of your game entirely, and load up again fresh the next time you want to play. This is, of course, the standard way things go on desktop PCs

The more I think about it, it can’t be referring to whole-device suspend/resume, can it? (This would be a huge flaw in a handheld, and no other reviews I’ve read have mentioned it.) Could it mean instead that there’s just no button to alt-tab out of a game…?

Yeah, games can survive Windows going into sleep mode on my PC, so not sure why this is a problem on a handheld. You’d think the power button would just activate sleep.

That said, I would be interested in seeing these SteamDeck alternatives get robust SteamOS support. Ironically, Valve wanted this situation to occur with their Steam Box initiative, but I’m not sure they’re actually interested in extending some of the best SteamOS features to competitors now that they directly sell their own portable hardware.

The fact that it doesn’t run SteamOS is the primary reason I’m even considering this thing.

I don’t really care about the extra performance. I love the idea of being able to run my libraries from across all the different stores painlessly.