Having spent a bunch of time with both now, I wanted to share my thoughts on how the ROG Ally compares to the Steam Deck, with a couple thoughts thrown in for how they relate to the Nintendo Switch. Looking at comfort in handheld mode, button and sticks layout, battery life, game performance, gameplay while docked, and how the general experience is different for each one.
The ROG Ally, Steam Deck, and Nintendo Switch are all gaming devices that cater to different segments of the gaming community, each with its own set of features and target audience.
The ROG Ally is a product by ASUS under their Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand, primarily focused on high-performance gaming laptops and peripherals. While specific details about the ROG Ally might have emerged after my last knowledge update in September 2021, ASUS often emphasizes powerful hardware components, customizable RGB lighting, and advanced cooling systems in their ROG lineup. The ROG Ally is likely to offer a more traditional gaming laptop experience with a wide range of games from various platforms, making it suitable for gamers seeking a comprehensive gaming and computing solution.
On the other hand, the Steam Deck is Valve’s venture into the handheld gaming market. It runs on a custom AMD APU, blending a quad-core Zen 2 CPU with RDNA 2 graphics architecture, which brings substantial gaming power to a portable device. The Steam Deck is designed to provide a dedicated handheld PC gaming experience, allowing users to access their existing Steam library, as well as other PC platforms like Epic Games Store, GOG, and more. It essentially functions as a portable gaming PC, offering more versatility and potential for productivity tasks compared to traditional gaming consoles.
The Nintendo Switch, released in 2017, pioneered the concept of a hybrid gaming console. It seamlessly transitions between a handheld mode and a TV-connected mode. The Switch’s focus lies in Nintendo’s first-party game lineup, offering exclusive titles like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” “Super Mario Odyssey,” and “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Its unique Joy-Con controllers and family-friendly gaming experience have contributed to its widespread appeal. However, the Switch’s hardware capabilities are more limited compared to the other two devices, making it less suitable for graphically demanding games available on other platforms.
In summary, the ROG Ally is likely to offer a high-performance gaming laptop experience, the Steam Deck provides a portable PC gaming experience with access to various storefronts, and the Nintendo Switch focuses on exclusive Nintendo titles and versatile hybrid gameplay. The choice between these devices ultimately depends on the user’s preferences, gaming library, and desired gaming experience.