Nintendo NX Controller Hoax: Fake Controllers Remind Us What Rumors Are Worth

Nintendo NX Controller Hoax: Fake Controllers Remind Us What Rumors Are Worth

This past week, two sets of fake images of the Nintendo NX controller leaked—first in the form of a white controller that was quickly debunked by Nintendolife and others, and then in the form of a black controller that actually seemed reasonably plausible—until its creator revealed that the controller was no Photoshop job, but had actually been a 3D-printed fake. That’s going to extraordinary lengths to produce a fake… and it shows us just how far we can trust rumors

There are three kinds of gaming rumors: The ones that are quickly debunked, the ones that actually end up being (mostly) true and come from a real leak, and those whose accuracy is not so obvious. The last group is certainly the biggest category. And what the Nintendo NX controller “leak” has revealed is that even those of us who should know better can be a little too credulous. We see something that looks like it could be real, and assume that, well, it just might be.

Sometimes games rumors really are true. We knew a lot about Fallout 4 before it came out, from a large number of sources. Sometimes even a single source can be right, as with the rumors that a new Paper Mario would come out. But even widely spread and widely reported rumors aren’t necessarily true. Yes, the Wall Street Journal has reported widely on the Nintendo NX and its possible features. Yes, these are probably accurate to some degree. But that doesn’t mean that other leaks that broadly correlate with the well-reported rumors are necessarily true. They could just come from determined fakers.

Why some gamers concoct fake leaks and rumors is beyond me, but there’s clearly a contingent that does just that and they’re savvier than ever. If a major leak like the Nintendo NX controllers can just be a 3D-printed fake, something that clearly took a lot of effort to concoct, then simple lists of features don’t have much credibility anymore. That is, unless they come from multiple highly credible sources (such as the WSJ or Nintendo itself). That’s why we can still safely posit that the Nintendo NX will come out this year, and somewhat less assuredly suppose that it’s a console-handheld hybrid of some kind. Beyond that, it’s all a mystery, and it will stay that way.

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