YouTuber turns the ASUS ROG Ally into a Steam Deck and people are excited

ROG Ally being played in a car.
(Image credit: Asus ROG)

What you need to know

  • With early units of the ASUS ROG Ally in the wild already, one YouTuber has already turned theirs into a Steam Deck of sorts. 
  • The ROG Ally will come with Windows 11 Home but there are plenty with doubts over using Windows on a handheld. 
  • SteamOS isn't officially available for anyone to use, but there is an unofficial version called HoloISO which mimics Valve's Steam Deck OS. 

Just like the Steam Deck before it, the ASUS ROG Ally is a complete PC. Which means it comes with the freedom to do basically whatever you want to it. In the case of the Deck, some crazy people like my colleague, Jez Corden, are removing the excellent SteamOS and putting Windows 11 on it

But before the Ally is even here, we've got our first look at what the reverse is like. YouTuber, ETAPrime, has an early unit and has teased what the ROG Ally is like when transformed into a Steam Deck. And it's not half bad. 

In fact, if I get an Ally, I already know this is what I'll end up doing to it. I love SteamOS. 

SteamOS isn't actually available yet to install on any PC you want, but the chances are that this has been achieved using a community recreation called HoloISO (Update: Actually ChimeraOS, another option). 

To say that the public can't get their hands on the Ally yet and this is the first device using AMD's new Ryzen Z1 APU, the performance looks outstanding. The 120Hz refresh rate of the display is recognised just fine, and as seen, Forza Horizon 5 is running like a dream at 1080p. There are issues, but these will certainly get fixed when retail hardware is out there for folks to use.

The comments on the video also show that folks seem to be excited by this idea. Windows might have a lot to offer to gamers, but there's plenty of trepidation over how good it's going to be on a handheld like this. Especially one without trackpads. By contrast, SteamOS is purpose-built for a handheld console experience, and Proton has come on so far that game incompatibilities are increasingly few. 

It's going to be fun to see what people start doing with their Allys when they start shipping next month that's for sure. 

ROG Ally Gaming Handheld

ROG Ally Gaming Handheld

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 (US) 
Best Buy discount code for cardholders: Q2FY24SAVE10P

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at