Last Saturday happened to be April 1, which means some companies had some marketing fun by announcing new "products". Most are just jokes like what Microsoft used to do before it and other companies decided it was best to just ignore the day. Apparently, ASUS decided to not only announce a new device on April Fools' Day but make it a real product announcement.
You would be forgiven if you believed the reveal of the ASUS ROG Ally was merely a very elaborate prank when the company posted about it on Twitter Saturday. However, today, that same Twitter page confirmed that the ROG Ally was not an April Fools' joke after all.
So what is the ASUS ROG Ally? In very basic terms, it's a Steam Deck competitor. The ROG Ally is a portable Windows 11 PC gaming handheld device with console-like buttons, triggers, a D-pad, and sticks. The video promoting the ROG Ally says that ASUS has worked with AMD to create a custom Ryzen APU for the device.
There are very few details about the ROG Ally's other hardware specs. The video states that gamers will be able to play in "Full HD" in full sunlight and that the device has a special dual fan cooling system that keeps it from overheating, while also being very quiet. It will include special software to customize the various buttons and triggers. The video also seems to show that it will have RGB customized lighting options for the circles below the sticks and also on the back.
The video also shows the device hooked up to the ROG XG Mobile eGPU, an external graphics chip dock. You can apparently use it to connect it to the ROG Ally, so you can then connect it to a big-screen PC and play games at a higher resolution. You can add "games from multiple platforms" although specifics were not mentioned.
Update: The Dave2D YouTube channel has some more info on the ASUS ROG Ally, based on some playtime with a pre-production version device. It will have a seven-inch 16:9 display with 500 nits of brightness and a 120Hz refresh rate. The custom AMD Ryzen APU inside will be built on a 4nm process and it will have a Zen 4 CPU and a RDNA 3 GPU. The video also says that the price will be "very competitive" but details were not announced.
That's really all we know right now about the ROG Ally. ASUS has set up a page on Best Buy's site where you can put in your email for more alerts about the portable gaming PC including when pre-orders will start. There's no word on when that will happen, nor is there a price tag announced for the ROG Ally.