Asus has announced that its ROG Ally handheld gaming PC is now officially up for pre-order in Australia from JB Hi-Fi, with a release date of June 13.
Available exclusively in the higher-end Z1 Extreme variant (at least at launch) with 512GB of onboard storage, the ROG Ally has been priced at AU$1,299 with a limit of one unit per customer. Along with Australia, JB's New Zealand outlets with also be selling it over the ditch for NZ$1,499.
In addition to JB Hi-Fi, you can also purchase the ROG Ally direct from Asus for the same price, and with a bonus of 90 days of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate thrown in for good measure.
While that's a little more expensive than a direct conversion the ROG Ally's $699 US price point (which works out to roughly AU$1,053 at time of writing), it's not a bad price to pay when you factor in GST, and the fact that you're avoiding third-party retailers and potential issues with warranty claims down the line – both of which you'll currently have to deal with if you want to pick up a Steam Deck in Australia.
Asus ROG Ally: Is it worth buying?
In our review of the Asus ROG Ally, we described the handheld gaming PC as a "solid but imperfect Steam Deck challenger" that doesn't quite reach its full potential. That said, it does beat the Steam Deck in one key area: it's actually getting an Australian release — and soon, at that.
While it's technically possible to already buy a Steam Deck in Australia, Valve has yet to release the highly anticipated handheld here officially, leaving eager gamers with no other option than to pick one up from the grey import market at a jacked up price.
Thankfully, that won't be the case with the Asus ROG Ally — the much-hyped handheld is being released Down Under only a month after its global debut. Meanwhile, the Steam Deck launched over a year ago in the US and we're yet to hear any word on an official local release.
If you absolutely must get your handheld gaming fix as soon as possible, the Asus ROG Ally is a good option, and its higher-end specs will likely make it more future proof. That said, if you're willing to wait for a better handheld user experience (barring performance), the Steam Deck won't disappoint.