We’ve been excited for the Asus ROG Ally handheld for a while and, now that it’s here, we’re eager to see what all it can do. In our review of the Asus Ally, we noted that it offers good performance and a bright screen, but mediocre battery life. And when you compare the Asus Ally vs the Steam Deck, it's a tie because each has its strengths when playing PC games.
But what about emulation? How well does Asus's new handheld play games made for consoles. YouTuber ETA Prime was determined to find out and shows us in the video below. The results are very promising as the Ally is able to handle games from PS3 (usually an emulation challenge), the Nintendo Switch and Xbox 360.
On the lighter end of the emulation spectrum, ETA Prime demonstrated it’s ability to play PSP games with ease using PPSSPP. It can also handle 3DS emulation using Citra, a Nintendo 3DS emulation platform. These systems are less demanding hardware-wise than consoles so it goes without surprise that the Asus ROG Ally handled them so well.
As far as consoles are concerned, ETA Prime also demonstrated its ability to run GameCube ROMs using Dolphin. PlayStation 2 games were also on the table thanks to PCSX2, a Windows-compatible PS2 emulation platform. From the same era, we also got a look at Xbox emulation with CXBX. It handled the WiiU fairly well using CEMU and brought us to the modern era of consoles by emulating the Nintendo Switch. In addition, it could handle Xbox 360 and PS3 emulation with reliable playability.
The Asus ROG Ally runs Windows so Steam access is a given. However, if you’re looking for an emulation platform there’s definitely great potential to be had. If you want to get a closer look at the Asus ROG Ally in action, check out the demonstration video shared to YouTube by ETA Prime.
As you can see one huge advantage that the handheld offers is support for AVX-512 instructions which offer great performance across various emulators including RPCS3.
AMD actually made a good and reasonable decision by putting AVX-512 support on its Ryzen Z1 APUs.
The Asus launcher supports Steam, GoG, Epic Game Store, Nvidia cloud, Microsoft Game Pass, etc.
If you want to run emulators, or whatever, Asus makes it easy to do.
On the Steam Deck if felt like I was behind pushed to use Steam. The whole SteamOS ecosystem is tailored to Steam. You can install Windows on Steam Deck, but as LinusTechTips has shown, it is a mess. And why wouldn't it be, Steam Deck was designed for you to buy Steam games, they don't really want you to install Windows.
RPCS3 Blog on Github:
A lot of technical details about PS3 CELL and AVX-512
Right, this all makes sense. However you skipped over one of the biggest reasons.
There is a whole market out there looking specifically to get away from Windows, and that market is growing. Now I suppose you could buy an Ally or one of the many others out there and do a Linux install, which I'm sure would be just fine. But one of the reasons the Steam Deck is cheaper is because it doesn't have a built-in Windows tax. And every day gaming on the Deck gets better and better - even outside of the games. Since the whole SteamOS ecosystem is tailored to Steam - that means, the whole SteamOS ecosystem is tailored toward gaming, it's better than trying to use some corporate operating system that's trying hard to double up also as a gamer's operating system.
Windows just moves too slow these days. Old man can't keep up - time to get out of the way.
You lose a lot of the secret sauce from Valve when it comes to optimizations around the OS and it shows, but at least you can run anything you would in a normal Windows PC.
Valve has not fixed any of the issues, and why would they, the truth is that Valve doesn't want you to use Windows and other game stores on Steam Deck. Steam Deck "supports" installing Windows kind of like Macbooks "support" installing Windows. In truth, they don't really want you to do that.
The moment I wanted to install my GoG games for example, I needed a 3rd party launcher, on top of the GoG launcher, which was a disaster. And like I said, installing Windows on Steam Deck is not a solution due to all the issues, like LTT points out.
I know my GoG library works flawlessly on Windows, and Asus fully supports it and even made it part of their launcher.