Asus announced a new ROG console that has something unique going for it: a sharp OLED display built into the console itself.
Unveiled at CES 2023, the ROG Raikiri Pro is the company’s latest console, and is expected to launch sometime in the second quarter of 2023. It also carries the Designed for Xbox branding, which means it has passed Microsoft’s scent test, and will be the board Compatible with PC, Xbox and Series X Controllers | S and Xbox One.
Before we get to what we’re all here for — the attractive OLED display — let’s turn to the console itself. The ROG Raikiri Pro seems to fit the feature-rich bill of neighboring “Pro” controllers like the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2. That means it has a set of back buttons, trigger locks, and customizable button profiles. I also love the smart RGB font that runs across the board and wraps around the right analog stick.
It looks like a promising console, but the Raikiri Pro’s 1.3-inch OLED display is its most attractive feature. According to the ROG website (Opens in a new tab), the console screen can display information about battery life, microphone, and headphone volume. Or, if you’re feeling creative, you can choose to display custom text, images, or animations. Although the screen seems to appear in monochrome only.
Will the OLED screen add a lot to the gameplay? No, probably not, but it’s an interesting feature nonetheless, and it’s always nice to have useful information like battery life on hand to give players a better idea of when they should charge the Pad.
In the dream
When I look at the Raikiri Pro’s gray level 2 OLED display, I can’t help but think of the Sega Dreamcast’s VMU (Visual Memory Unit). There are stark differences, of course. Arguably, the VMU was much more practical as it was used to store data and display images and unique UI elements depending on what game you were playing.
In Sonic Adventure, you can watch your Chao pets’ well-being via the VMU screen, for example. The Raikiri Pro’s OLED doesn’t look quite as versatile, but I can see it as a selling point for those who like the console’s aesthetics and odd tricks that allow them to separate their board from the pack.
I’m also fairly sure that the Raikiri Pro’s OLED display will drain battery life, though this has to be somewhat put down by the fact that it’s only a two-color screen. However, I would like an option to reduce screen brightness to reduce both battery drain and risk of screen burn.
Raikiri Pro is definitely a console we’ll be watching. While its OLED display is undoubtedly style over substance, the basics of this ‘Pro’ board look solid enough that it could one day enter our list of the best Xbox consoles you can buy this year.