ASUS tanked ROG Ally reviews by shipping 'underbaked' firmware, but a big performance boost is on the way

What you need to know

  • The ASUS ROG Ally is a handheld gaming console that goes on sale on June 13, 2023.
  • Reviewers have already been able to try the device, but the firmware it shipped with appeared to hinder performance.
  • Well-known YouTuber Dave Lee shared that a recent firmware update for the ROG Ally improves performance by 15-20%.

The ASUS ROG Ally is a highly anticipated handheld gaming console that looks to compete with the Steam Deck. The device is available for preorder now and starts shipping on June 13, 2023. Reviewers have already gotten a chance to try the device, though that has resulted in some mixed feedback.

Performance concerns, especially at lower wattage, dampened some of the excitement for the ROG Ally. Fortunately for those that are interested in the device, the version that ships will be significantly better than those that were used by reviewers.

Well-known tech YouTuber Dave Lee (aka Dave2D) recently shared a video about his experience with the ROG Ally. He explained that ASUS "sent out review units that just were not ready to be reviewed." He added that the consoles sent to reviewers were "running drivers and firmware that was so underbaked." He then reached out to ASUS, which told him to wait for updates.

A recent firmware update that only works with the latest driver resulted in 15-20% better performance, according to Lee.

Luckily for those that order the ROG Ally or that have already preordered the console, these firmware updates should be available at launch.

With the new firmware available, we'll have a better opportunity to see how the ROG Ally compares to the Steam Deck and other handheld gaming consoles. After the console launches, we'll also potentially be able to turn the ROG Ally into a Steam Deck.

ROG Ally

ROG Ally

This gaming handheld runs Windows 11 Home and can be used to access several gaming services and storefronts. It's far more powerful than the Steam Deck and will be available this summer. You can preorder it right now. 

Preorder at: Best Buy | Asus | Currys (UK)

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at

  • Ty0660
    "Underbaked" lol..... Pre release units come with pre release software... no shiiii. If these were production units with official production release software then it's a different story.
    Bro pressed his face against the glass expecting a perfect cake, when it's timer still hasn't even finished yet... No shit its "underbaked"