Asus recently announced the ROG Ally, a handheld gaming PC that has features similar to the Steam Deck. However, the announcement was made on April Fools’ Day, which caused confusion among consumers. The video announcing the product appeared to be tongue-in-cheek, and the tagline sounded like an April Fools’ joke. But two days later, Asus confirmed that the device was not a joke. Several tech reviewers have posted hands-on videos of the device, revealing some of its specs, such as a 1080p display and support for 120Hz refresh rates.
The rollout of the Ally is an example of companies forgetting what April Fools’ Day is supposed to be about. Instead of being a fun day for lighthearted pranks, it has become exhausting because it’s so hard to tell when the jokes are actually jokes. Companies need to think about avoiding April Fools’ Day entirely, as Google has done by canceling any plans for April Fools’ jokes in 2020 and 2021.
Since the Ally is a real product, the pressure is on for Asus to deliver at the same level as last year’s best “announced on April Fools’ Day” prank: Return to Monkey Island.