Just on the previous night it was brought into limelight that the images of Nintendo NX regulators were counterfeited in dissimilar ways. This news did not made its way through the doors on its own as Nintendo rejects the legality of these leaks, but instead it came from the “leakers” alone.
The first image, circulated over a week ago closer to GDC, was a work of pure photoshop. The second set of images were actually of a physical controller that was made by a 3D printer, and photographed as a “real” object.
I will admit to being one of the gullible. In my post yesterday, though I did report the controller as a rumor that could still turn out to be a fake, I admitted I was inclined to believe it was genuine, and now I suppose I have to eat some crow.
And yet, one of my biggest reasons as to why I thought the photos were genuine was because Nintendo themselves hadn’t commented on the images. By that point, the story was massive. Every game site was reporting the images, they were shared by millions on social media. There was no way on earth they hadn’t heard about the story or seen the photos.
Why then, did they say nothing?
If the leakers themselves hadn’t come forward for a “ha-ha, gotcha!” reveal, this would still be up in the air. No one had been able to definitively prove the images were fake before that, and in fact conspiracy theories were moving the other way, with some saying that the second set of photos were leaked from Ubisoft Massive’s offices (they weren’t),bolstering their possible legitimacy.
I suppose it could have been Nintendo waiting for it to burn itself out, but that seems like a crazy strategy given all the uncertainty about the NX, and how people are waiting to jump on every little thing put out there about the console. But this was more than a little thing, and if it was clearly a hoax, which everyone at Nintendo would have known, why was no statement ever issued? Why did no sites ever get a direct comment from Nintendo about the images other than “We have nothing to announce on this topic,” which is nowhere near a denial?
My theory? Because while this oval-shaped screen controller based on a public patent is not the real thing, the actual NX controller may in fact be somewhat similar to this.
In the wake of this leak, alleged devs with actual NX kits have started to come forward, and while their own testimony could easily be faked itself, there are multiple reports that while not a buttonless oval, that the controller is indeed screen-based, albeit a rectangle with buttons embedded in the screen, not just joysticks.
Again, there’s no reason to report those rumors as facts, but the logic is there.
Nintendo would not want to laugh away a hoax controller that does indeed share similarities with their final product. If they did come out and say “no, that thing is fake and nothing like our controller,” when they debut something that is indeed touchscreen focused, it won’t matter that the hoax got the shape and a few other details wrong. It’s fundamentally the same idea, and will probably receive the same reaction from fans.
Other than that, I can’t think of any other possible reason for their silence, as I just don’t buy ignorance about this story as an explanation. If Nintendo’s NX controller is nothing like this, it would have been in their best interest to say immediately and forcefully that this was a hoax and totally off-base, reassuring a very worried fanbase. If Nintendo’s controller is a bit like this, logic would dictate they might not say anything at all, because if they’re getting ready to debut something similar in a few months, they don’t want to badmouth aspects of their actual design.
If this idea is right, and the NX controller really as a screen-based, detachable, handheld…thing, everything I said in yesterday’s article still stands. Nintendo would once again be relying on a gimmick controller to sell a system, a gimmick similar to the one the Wii U had, which failed spectacularly.
The moral of the story, as always, is that Nintendo needs to start talking. Before, they were simply not talking about the system, but now they’re remaining silent even when obvious hoaxes are running rampant in the news cycle. That is not how you properly control messaging about your project. At a certain point, silence is doing more harm than good, and we are way, way past that point in regard to the NX.