ASUS ROG Ally April Fools' joke was about a very real Steam Deck competitor

Dave Lee testing the ASUS ROG Ally handheld gaming device. (Image credit: Dave Lee on YouTube)

What you need to know

  • ASUS announced the ROG Ally handheld gaming device over the weekend.
  • It was initially believed by many to be an April Fools' joke due to being unveiled on April 1st.
  • ASUS has since confirmed that the device is real and shared a product page for it from Best Buy.

ASUS may decide to change its future marketing plans after a saga that unfolded over this past weekend. The company unveiled a handheld gaming device called the ROG Ally on Saturday. The issue was that Saturday happened to be April Fools' Day. That fact led many to believe that ASUS was joking, as it's a normal prank of large companies to unveil fake hardware or software on the day.

Shawn Yen, ROG's head of project management, only added to the confusion when he shared a post on LinkedIn that stated "Happy April Fools. ROG Ally (A-lie)."

Then, on April 2nd, ROG Japan shared a tweet about the ROG Ally that emphasized that it was 4/2, implying that the device was not an April Fools' joke (via PC Gamer).

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The timeline made it unclear if the product was real. But today, April 3, 2023, ROG North America explained "It's real" in a tweet telling people to "stay tuned for more 👀."

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ASUS also shared a Best Buy page about the ROG Ally, though no details are listed. With any questions of the device's legitimacy out of the way, we can now focus on what the ROG Ally actually is.

The ROG Ally is a handheld gaming device that will likely compete with the Steam Deck. It has a similar form factor and allows people to enjoy games on the go.

Well-known tech YouTuber Dave Lee (aka Dave2D) spent a week with the device and has a video up about his first impressions. Lee was not able to share benchmarks or certain specs, but his video includes some important details about the ROG Ally.

ASUS claims that the ROG Ally delivers double the performance of the Steam Deck. The ROG Ally runs on a custom 4nm APU Zen 4 chip with RDNA 3. Lee said that the claims appear to be true based on his testing. 

The device features a 7-inch screen that's better than that of the Steam Deck in several ways: 

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SpecSteam DeckROG Ally
Display size7-inch7-inch
Aspect ratio16:1016:9
Resolution1280 x 8001920 x 1080
Brightness400 nits500 nits
Refresh rate60Hz120Hz

ASUS has not shared pricing for the ROG Ally at this time. The company told Lee that the ROG Ally would have "very competitive pricing," and did not elaborate.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at