We were wowed by the Asus ROG XG Station 2 gaming amp when we saw it at Computex last summer, but nearly a year later, you still can't buy one in America. Now, the company has told us that it currently has no plans to release the amp in the U.S., though it is already for sale in several other countries.
A PR rep said that the company will revisit its decision in a couple of months so it's still possible that we may see the XG Station 2 for sale in the U.S. If you want, you can buy one an XG Station 2 on eBay right now from Italian or Australian vendors, whose prices range from $685 to $933. However, that's a lot of money for the hardware without an actual graphics card.
Why did we get so excited about it? Asus' second iteration of its stand alone graphics amp has the potential to support any system with a Thunderbolt 3 port. So no matter if pint-sized 2-in-1 or a giant 18-inch desk anchor, almost any system has the ability top-notch gaming machine.
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Furthermore, if your system features a beefy Intel Core i7-CPU, by hooking up the XG Station 2: you can transform your PC into a VR-ready machine.
However, there are a couple caveats to consider. Even if the XG Station 2 was available for $300, the original MSRP Asus quoted us, that number doesn't include the price of the GPU you're going to need to power your games. That means you're still going to need an additional $600 or so in order to get a card like the Nvidia GTX 1080.
While the main requirement for the XG Station 2 to work is a Thunderbolt 3 port, each PC maker will need to work with Asus on some software to ensure full compatibility. Only Asus laptops are guaranteed to work with it.
Even so, Asus' XG Station 2 looks to be a lot more adaptable than something like Alienware's graphics amp, which requires a proprietary cable and connector in order to send data from the amp to your PC. Razer also sells the Core graphics amp for $499.