There's been a lot of excitement around the ASUS ROG Ally, and the anticipation around the Windows 11-powered gaming handheld just got cranked up massively thanks to a leak putting the price at $699.99 for the top spec model (with Z1 Extreme CPU).
The possible price - always remembering this is just the rumor mill talking, for now - was flagged up by The Verge, though it comes from two sources to give it a bit more weight: Twitter tipster SnoopyTech (see the above tweet), and Roland Quandt.
Another well-known leaker, Quandt, contacted The Verge directly and showed the tech site material that left "little room for confusion" that said price tag of $699.99 applies to the Z1 Extreme model with 512GB of storage.
That came with a bunch of marketing claims, with the leaked material seeming genuine The Verge reckons.
Of course, we still have to be careful around the purported asking price - even if real, this could be somewhat older marketing bits and pieces, and ASUS might have changed its pricing plans in the meantime. But still, it's an exciting glimpse of where ASUS could be going with pricing: in no uncertain terms looking to take down Valve's popular Steam Deck.
Remember that the Steam Deck with 512GB is $649, so for just $51 more, you could have a ROG Ally with an 8-core Z1 Extreme chip that promises to be a great deal faster than Valve's portable gaming machine. It's a CPU that combines Zen 4 and RDNA 3 graphics to make for a potent combination indeed (check out this other leak to see just how fast it'll be, in theory).
Big play from ASUS
Further recall that we were told by ASUS that the price tag of the ROG Ally would be under a grand, and we were guessing - hoping - for perhaps $799 for the top-end device. So, $699 would indeed be a big value play to grab share in the handheld PC market, which is getting a lot of attention - and new devices - lately, following the Steam Deck's critical acclaim.
What we also must remember about the ROG Ally is that it runs Windows 11. This means it's good to go with all PC games, rather than the Steam Deck which runs a Linux distro (SteamOS) so relies on the Proton compatibility layer (and there are Windows games that simply don't work with that - notably those with anti-cheat systems).
There'll be no compatibility worries with the ASUS ROG Ally, and we mustn't forget the other recent rumor that could be fantastic news for the handheld - that Microsoft is mulling over creating some kind of gaming handheld mode for Windows 11.
If that comes to fruition, it'll be a massive boon for the ASUS device. Indeed, the fact that Microsoft is considering going in this direction shows the strength of the sentiment that the PC handheld market is very much a space to watch for the future.
What we don't have any clue about yet is what price the ROG Ally with vanilla Z1 CPU (the 6-core model) will come in at. But if ASUS really is looking to take on Valve as is apparently the case, presumably it'll be proportionately pitched to attack the entry-level Steam Deck which retails at $399. Could we be looking at $499, perhaps, or $450 even? The latter is very likely pushing it, but we're feeling optimistic in the light of this fresh leak.
At any rate, we'll find out on May 11, which is when ASUS has let us know it'll share the full details, including the official confirmation of pricing, on the ROG Ally. We can't wait, and if ASUS can pull off solid battery life with this handheld, it's going to be quite something to witness.