It’s true that Asus’ ROG Ally, a portable gaming Computer that resembles a Steam Deck, exists. You’d be excused for not knowing that, though, considering the confusing and inaccurate messages about the device that, of course, involved April Fool’s Day. Please don’t imitate Asus’ strategy the following year, businesses.
The statement that “revealed” the handheld at midnight on April 1st is what initially caused the misconception.
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The film had a slightly sarcastic tone, particularly when someone was locked out of their house and joyfully remembered they had the Ally in their jacket pocket.
“You’ll never have to quit gaming again” felt like an April Fools’ joke, as the video’s conclusion showed someone using the Ally on a roller coaster and a go-kart.
The Ally genuinely seemed like a nice product, so even though it felt like typical April Fools’ fodder, it hurt. The fact that Asus claimed to have worked with AMD to “custom-make the fastest AMD APU yet” for the gadget, thus implying that it might be more powerful than the Steam Deck, was perhaps the most intriguing fact.
The Ally, however, was only something to dream about because we weren’t really able to tell if this was a practical joke for April 1.
The YouTube channels Dave2D and Linus Tech Tips then posted hands-on videos with the device two whole days after Asus certified the item was not an April Fool’s joke.
Certain specifications, like a 1080p display, compatibility for 120Hz refresh rates, and Asus’ assertion that the gadget offers twice the performance of the Steam Deck, may be deduced from those YouTube channels.
Despite the fact that the company has not yet disclosed pricing, it appears to be a truly promising product.
Whatever the final specifications, the release of the Ally (A-lie, get it?) is simply the latest instance of businesses failing to remember the purpose of April Fools’ Day.
It was more of a day for silly jokes when I was a kid, and for a brief period of time, even computer businesses (especially Google) were having a reasonable amount of fun or announcing products like Gmail.
But, it can now be so difficult to determine when a joke is genuinely a joke that it is simply becoming tiresome. Do you recall the time VW made up the moniker “Voltswagen”?
Even if Asus’ ROG Ally isn’t quite as bad, it’s nonetheless disappointing that the business teased a supposedly amazing product as a joke for days rather than immediately disclosing that it was real.
It’s time for businesses to consider completely ignoring April Fool’s Day. Even Google has backed off its April Fool’s Day jokes, removing a “mic drop” joke from Gmail and scrapping all plans for the years 2020 and 2021.
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The ROG Ally is real, though, so Asus is under pressure to match the quality of Return to Monkey Island, last year’s best “announced on April Fools’ Day” hoax.