The story behind the faked photo of Nintendo's next console that fooled the internet

Nintendo’s making a new game console, and that new game console is going to get announced in 2016. It’s currently known as “NX” — a code name — and that’s pretty much all we know for certain.

The NX is rumoured to be a home console and portable console, all-in-one. It’s also rumoured to be in the hands of some game developers already, primarily in Japan where Nintendo is based.

And this week on Monday, an image popped up on Reddit from a user who claimed it was a leaked image of a Nintendo NX gamepad — the portable bit of the console, supposedly.

That image, however, turns out be an elaborate fake. But that’s not a surprise, right? This thing looks pretty fake.

What’s weird, however, is that three subsequent images from a separate Reddit poster appear to be real.

Except they are also fake. We can explain why, but first we need to examine the story of how the first faked photo was made.

Enter David Im, a French game developer and 3D model creator. His DeviantArt page is full of 3D renders of non-existent — though enticing — Nintendo hardware.

Like this:

And this:

And, most recently, this fake NX controller:

Im created all three of the above images, and he released a video Thursday evening on YouTube explaining how he created the fake Nintendo NX image. In the video, he shows how he modelled the design in 3D Studio Max (a 3D modelling application), added details in Photoshop, and then posted the image to Reddit. For good measure, he also sent along a link to game website Dual Pixels claiming to be the “insider” who posted this image.

He explained the process of creation in an email interview with Tech Insider:

A few days ago, I started the first sketches (based on the filed Nintendo patent mentioned in numerous articles). I added some modifications, then started modelling using 3D Studio Max 2016 with the ‘Vray’ rendering engine. Once the 3D rendering was done I made the first montage (using Photoshop) with the 3D model. I reduced the image’s quality on purpose to make it harder to see that it was a 3D model, I taught myself how how to spot alter images, then I made the final pass to make sure everything was OK. Then [I] released the beast onto Reddit and sent an email to Dual Pixels (posing as an insider). I didn’t think for a second that the information would be passed along.

Im even sent us a few images of the process of creation.

Here’s the render of the fake image in high-resolution:

Im says he had nothing to do with the three subsequent images, and we believe him, but there are still good reasons to believe those subsequent three are totally fake as well.

For one, the details of Im’s fake and the three subsequent images are identical. This is really important, because those little touches that Im made to his original fake photo show up detail for detail in the subsequent photos. Either he’s making the best guess of all time, or the three subsequent photos are bunk.

Keep in mind we still have no idea who posted the subsequent three photos to Reddit.

When asked about it, Im says (translated from French to English), “I am not the author of the fake second

(photo display off). It’s tracing my model (based on my image) as he / she takes the same (end of sellotape next to the display) all matches.”

So, Im didn’t create the subsequent three photos, but they were all published after his fake image was already out there, and these images all copied his fake directly. Again, it’s possible that they’re not fake, but that’s highly unlikely. They’re just too similar to the confirmed fake to not also be fake themselves. And yes, we realise how ridiculous this all sounds.

So, why go through the trouble of creating a fake and duping the internet? For fun, according to Im.

“As with any new hardware announcement, I love to dream and imagine what it will look like,” he told Tech Insider. Using an old patent filing, he began crafting his fake.

Nintendo patentUSPTONintendo filed this patent back in 2015.

That’s understandable. But why go through the process of attempting to trick the internet?

“I posed as an insider (for the first and last time) for laughs,” Im said, “without really thinking the whole world was going to share.”

He also had another reason: “To prove that anyone can make these images.”

Mission accomplished, Mr. Im.

Are you the person or persons who created the second set of images of the NX controller? Please get in touch! We’d love to know more!

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