We’ve simply seen an additional leak on the pricing of the Asus ROG Ally, this time for the lesser spec mannequin of the Steam Deck rival – and it appears that evidently lower-tier handheld might be pitched at $599.99 within the US.
As flagged by The Verge (opens in new tab) (through VideoCardz (opens in new tab)), that’s the rivalry of Twitter-based leaker SnoopyTech, who believes that’ll be the MSRP of the ROG Ally with the vanilla AMD Z1 CPU and 256GB of storage (courtesy of an M.2 SSD).
ASUS ROG Ally 7″ AMD Z1 (not Excessive) = $599.9916 GB LPDDR5, 256 GB NVMe M.2 SSD https://t.co/X6hAE6ZtLF pic.twitter.com/ueKYpeMzusApril 28, 2023
SnoopyTech was the source of the original price leak, and the claim that the higher-end ROG Ally with Z1 Extreme processor (and 512GB storage) will cost $699.99.
The Verge notes that it has corroborated the latest leak with Roland Quandt, who (again) showed the tech site materials that backed up the assertion of a $599.99 price point. Seemingly, both these leakers are working from the same source.
Despite these leaks supporting each other, we still need to add a good dollop of skepticism here. And even if this is genuinely what Asus is thinking price-wise at the moment, there’s a chance that the planned price could change between now and launch. In theory, the launch date is June 13, by the way.
Analysis: Does a $100 price gap make any sense?
What’s the difference between these models given the purported $100 price gap? Well, the top-end ROG Ally’s Z1 Extreme processor has 8-cores (16-threads) compared to 6-cores (12-threads) with the standard AMD Z1, and for the integrated RDNA 3 graphics, the Z1 Extreme has 12-cores whereas the Z1 offers 4-cores.
That’s a fairly startling gap on the GPU front, with triple the amount of cores for the Z1 Extreme. And according to AMD’s own marketing bumph for the Z1 chips, the Extreme boasts 8.6 Teraflops of graphics performance – which leaves the Steam Deck in the dust, and indeed the entry-level Z1, the latter of which gives you 2.8 Teraflops (the Steam Deck is 1.6 Teraflops).
Now, raw Teraflops isn’t nearly the full story of course, and AMD also provided some gaming benchmarks which illustrate just that. The long and short of it is that in some games, the Z1 is fairly close to the Z1 Extreme, but in other more demanding titles, a pretty big gulf opens up. (As AMD notes, the GPU isn’t the limiting factor in some cases, rather, it’s the memory bandwidth).
Even so, if this is the correct pricing, it seems to us that buyers would be foolish not to fork out an extra $100 to get this faster CPU – considerably speedier in some cases – with double the storage on-baord to boot.
Having heard the price of the Z1 Extreme-toting ROG Ally is set to be $699.99, we were hoping for more like $499.99 for the Z1 model. The prices being set so close together doesn’t really make sense to us given the relative hardware specs here.
There are some the explanation why Asus may be angling pricing like this, although. As The Verge observes, we don’t know if the corporate may be planning one other lower-end handheld – like Valve does with a baseline Steam Deck that cuts corners with a small eMMC drive reasonably than a correct SSD. If that’s the case, then Asus may have to depart room within the pricing spectrum to drop that mannequin in.
Alternatively, perhaps Asus is totally anticipating the top-tier mannequin to promote out, and believes it might nonetheless shift the bottom Z1 ROG Ally at $599.99 – which is likely true. As a result of, let’s bear in mind, at $599.99 with that spec, this gadget nonetheless seems to be nice worth in comparison with the Steam Deck.
Valve’s transportable gaming machine is $530 for the 256GB mannequin, however with a CPU engine that’s distinctly much less peppy, and the drawback of incompatibility with some Home windows video games – ones that don’t play good with Proton, like video games with anti-cheat techniques for instance. The Ally runs Home windows 11, after all, so could have no such compatibility hindrances. (It’s additionally price noting that VideoCardz believes that Asus plans to supply the Ally with three months of Microsoft’s Xbox Recreation Go Final thrown in at no cost, too).
An additional chance happens that the $699.99 worth is unsuitable, and it’ll be larger – as our first thought was that it does appear too good to be true. We have been shocked when it was revealed, frankly, so perhaps it’ll change into $799.99 in the long run. Clearly we hope not, however as we’ve mentioned already, even when the leaks are technically right proper now, Asus may make last-minute pricing changes.
Regardless of the case, we will see whether or not Asus has a Steam Deck killer on its palms quickly sufficient, however apart from precise pricing, we’ll additionally have to know extra about battery life, and the way the Z1’s ramped-up efficiency may have an effect on the longevity of the ROG Ally when out and about gaming.