If this ROG handheld PC is real then Asus announced it in the worst way

Most of the time you can pick out the fake products vomited forth by PC hardware manufacturers on April Fools’ Day. I also don’t take any press release or tweet from any hardware company at face value on the day to be doubly sure. But sometimes the fake products created out of obligation to a terribly disagreeable day are just plausible enough to exist. I chalk that up to most big names in PC hardware releasing weird products year-round—I mean there’s an entire range of graphics cards sprayed with perfume (opens in new tab) and they’re all too real. 

Some April Fools’ joke products are so genuine-looking that I’m not even sure if it’s meant to be a joke or an attempt to float the idea to the general public. Is Corsair’s fidget spinner keycap (opens in new tab) really that weird of an idea?

We’re talking about the ROG Ally, however, a supposed new handheld gaming PC from Asus. It’s not a joke product, just in that it’s quite simply not funny, but it was announced on April 1. Ha. Ha.

ROG accounts from around the globe tweeted about the new ROG Ally on April 1 (opens in new tab). There’s even a professionally shot video with real game footage and mock-ups and claims of a custom AMD APU to go with. The voiceover is a bit much, and the acting at times, but if you saw the video in isolation (it’s publicly listed on YouTube without mention of April Fools beyond the date it was uploaded) you’d be easily fooled into thinking this was a very real product.

It’s a handheld gaming PC that resembles what you’d dream up if someone said to you ‘a Steam Deck (opens in new tab) but make it ROG’.

It’s big, fancy, and the promotional shots make it look like a very real thing. I mean how incredibly plausible what with the success of the Steam Deck and the many similar gaming handhelds on the market today.

But it was announced on April 1, and no company would ever release a real product on April 1.

Well, yes, you’d think that and that also did appear to be the case. It was a bogus product after all, according to ROG’s Head of Product management, Shawn Yen. They posted to LinkedIn with a link to a promotional video for the ROG Ally saying “Happy April Fools. ROG Ally (A-lie).”

They got you so bad with this product you might actually want. You absolute suckers. Serves you right for being so easily fooled by a promotional trailer that looks completely legit for a product that’s entirely believable.

But, what if it is real? 

I say this only because the joke didn’t stop on April 1. In the British Isles where I live that’s tantamount to a crime—if you don’t stop April Fooling by 12pm on April 1, you deserve to go to jail.

But the ROG accounts were still tweeting about the ROG Ally on April 2. The ROG Japan account even made it very clear that it is no longer April 1 when it tweeted the handheld out again, further suggesting that, in fact, the real joke wasn’t the product is fake but that the product was actually real. Ugh.

That says “Today is 4/2”, by the way, quoting a secondary tweet on the ROG Ally made on April 2 and hinting that the joke has ceased and it’s now a real announcement.

There’s even a Best Buy landing page (opens in new tab) to register your interest in the product. Now that really would be taking the joke too far if it was such a thing. Now l feel I have to go against my better judgement in assuming it’s actually real and just a terrible ploy to get people talking about it ahead of its release.

You’ve succeeded in getting people to talk about it Asus, but at what cost?

All in all, this has been either another terrible attempt at an April Fools’ joke that’s gone on way too long or the absolute worst way to announce a new product.

I’ve emailed Asus to see what’s up and to try and get some clarity on whether it has announced a new product or not. April Fools really is the worst.

Source: PC Gamer

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