April Fools is a day full of laughter as brands unveil ideas from cringy, corny, hilarious, and actually “doable”. ASUS has confused us with its April Fools posts announcing the ROG Ally Gaming Handheld — a Steam Deck and Ayaneo competitor. It’s primarily confusing because it’s a device that ASUS ROG is very capable of doing, but its post-timing leaves us with a shadow of a doubt. The ASUS ROG Ally Gaming Handheld Console is something that we’ve all been waiting for, but will it ever see the light of day?
ASUS ROG Ally Gaming Handheld
In the 3-minute promotional video, the ROG Ally looks like it’s about the size of a steam deck albeit slightly thinner. Powered by a custom AMD APU, the ROG Ally showcased playing different titles from indie games to AAA games like Monster Hunter: Rise and Dying Light 2. Should you need additional graphics power, you could connect the ROG Ally to the ROG XG Mobile eGPU — currently only being used by the ROG Flow X13 and Z13.
The 1080p display was also highlighted in the video and is a low-key blow against the Steam Deck having 2 variants with the premium matte display available only to the 512GB variant. Apart from the custom AMD silicon, 1080p display, and ROG XG Mobile eGPU compatibility, there are no other key specs mentioned in the video.
The ROG Ally looks very similar to the Dell Alienware Concept UFO which was showcased in 2020. The ROG Ally looks larger and has a more ergonomic appeal with a slanted edge like the Steam Deck.
ASUS has teamed up with Best Buy for its April Fools Joke but the email registration sparks suspicion that it might be real. Additionally, the inclusion of the XBOX Game Pass and Microsoft Windows 11 logo on the banner is another tell-tale sign as you wouldn’t normally get that many brands involved for a mere 1-day joke.
We’re Calling It, It’s Real
ROG Ally is one of the most talked about Tech April Fool’s execution which led many enthusiasts(including us), to dig deeper to see if it’s a hoax or not. In a Reddit post, a commenter stated that the ROG ALLY by ASUS is a registered trademark. A quick search shows that the Ally trademark is indeed true and was filed last March 24, 2023, by Charles P. Guarino, an Intellectual Property Lawyer.
Another round of intensive Google searches and Reddit thread scrolls led us to a LinkedIn post of Shawn Yen, ROG Head of Product Management with the ROG Ally announcement video and the caption “Happy April Fools. ROG Ally (A-lie). The post contained comments contradicting Yen with a user pointing out that he posted it on April 2. Moreover, another commenter stated that ASUS ROG Japan’s official Twitter retweeted the announcement video with the caption “今日は｢｢4/2｣｣です！” translated as Today is “4/2”!.
The evidence gathered is more than enough for us to believe that it’s real. As pointed out by some users, ASUS posted the ROG Ally on April Fools to check the market reception of a ROG gaming handheld. Whether it’s a litmus test or ASUS’ marketing strategy, the community feedback is nothing but positive. ASUS has experience in manufacturing gaming phones, peripherals, displays, thin gaming laptops, and even PC components which makes the ROG Ally an amalgamation of years worth of engineering.
The ASUS ROG Ally will likely make its debut this Computex 2023. It’s likely powered by the rumored AMD Ryzen 7 7840U 8 Core Zen 4 processor with 16GBs DDR5 Memory. Currently, there’s no AMD Zen 4 core powered gaming handheld, making the ROG Ally the first if ever it sees the light of day.
Grant is a Financial Management graduate from UST. His passion for gadgets and tech crossed him over in the industry where he could apply his knowledge as an enthusiast and in-depth analytic skills as a Finance Major. His passion allows him to earn at the same time help Gadget Pilipinas' readers in making smart, value-based decisions and purchases with his reviews and guides.