This all started, as things often do, on Reddit. Someone named “Idriss2Dev” published a photo of what was claimed to be an NX controller, with a note next to it that read, “You will say wow!” That was a quote about the Wii from late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. This picture was thought to at least possibly be real, due to the fact that it matched up with the Nintendo patent. The Reddit user said the controller had “haptic” buttons and that its shoulder buttons worked in a similar way to a mousewheel.
Days later, more images of what was claimed to be an NX controller emerged online. This time, as you can see in the image above, the production values were even higher. But red flags were raised right away, in part because the controller had a “confidential property” sticker on it.
Now we know both are fake.
The creator of the first fake, David Im, posted a silly YouTube video last night that confirms the project was an elaborate hoax. Im also shared more images of his 3D mockups on his DeviantArt account. He tells Polygon about the buzz surrounding his creation, “I must confess that it amazed me.”
As for the second fake, it was created by Frank Sandqvist, who founded laser-engraving company CNC Design in Finland with his brother. He explains in the video below that he was inspired by the first faker’s design and decided to see if he could make it himself.
“I’m sorry if I got people’s hopes up, but it seems most people were against this kind of design, so maybe it’s a relief to hear that it’s fake,” Sandqvist explains.
“I thought it would be funny to see how easy it would be to recreate that Photoshopped leak in real life–it turns out, it’s pretty easy.”
Though these NX mockups are both fake, that hasn’t stopped people from imagining the possibilities of how such a controller might work. The Vine below from Tim Aza is pretty excellent, showcasing how it could work in the context of The Legend of Zelda.
Nintendo has said it will start to talk about the NX, which is only a codename, sometime later this year. According to The Wall Street Journal, it is a console/mobile hybrid that runs on “industry-leading” technology.” A newly substantiated rumor indicates the system could launch as soon as this year.
What do you make of these NX mockups? Let us know in the comments below!