The lights are on
Game Informer's annual April Fool's Day prank comes in the form of Game Infarcer, a parody feature in the magazine that pokes fun at the games, events, and people in the industry. When we write these fake stories (which some people actually believe), we're usually just making stuff up. However, on more than one occasion, Game Infarcer has proven to be prophetic – especially when it comes to Nintendo. Just check out these examples, and remember that today's punchline may be tomorrow's Wii Fit.
2013 update: This year's Game Infarcer will be in readers' hands shortly, so we've added a new entry to our ever-growing list of ways the parody feature has correctly predicted the future. The WiiDS
Parody: Instead of rectifying the problems that made the Wii fall flat among hardcore gamers, Nintendo decides to double-down on the kooky novelty factor. The WiiDS combines the gimmicky qualities of both the DS and the Wii, which is way better than having an HD console.Reality: This piece ran in the 2010 edition of Game Infarcer. Over a year later at E3 2011, Nintendo revealed the Wii U, and the console finally released during the 2012 holiday season. Now that we've had a chance to play the system, we can see how eerily close our prediction came to the truth. We were wrong about it not having HD capabilities, but we nailed the basic concept.
Original Story:Nintendo Goes F---ing CrazyParody: The news piece paints a picture of Shigeru Miyamoto as man on the brink of madness. "I have a dog. His name is Pikachu," our fake Miyamoto says. "I love him very much. So, I thought, why should I have all the fun?" Dressed as a Dalmatian and barking in front of a human-sized doghouse, the Miyamoto in this story appears absolutely insane – due mainly to his obsession with dogs.Reality: The following year, Nintendogs became a handheld gaming phenomenon. It even had a Dalmatian edition. At the time of our Game Infarcer story (issue 132), the game hadn't even been announced.Nintendo Revolution UnveiledParody: Continuing the GameCube's tradition of lagging behind the competition, Nintendo's next-gen hardware will feature PS2-caliber graphics along with a controller that eliminates all complications in favor of a dumbed-down, all-purpose "Do" button. Also, it can stand vertically or lay sideways.Reality: The Nintendo Wii features PS2-caliber graphics along with a controller that eliminates all complications in favor of a dumbed-down, all-purpose A button. Also, it can stand vertically or lay sideways. When we ran our Infarcer article in issue 144, all we knew was that the console was codenamed "Revolution."Metroid Prime XtremeParody: Team Ninja is taking over the beloved Metroid series in order to give Samus more, um, "exposure." Additionally, Ridley plays volleyball with a metroid in a bikini.Reality: This Game Infarcer cover was in issue 168 (April 2007). At E3 2009, Nintendo announced that it was collaborating with Team Ninja to create Samus' next adventure, Metroid: Other M. Sadly, it doesn't appear to incorporate volleyball in any way. Hey, you can't be right all the time.WiiNapParody: With stupid peripherals being greeted with surprising success, Nintendo pushes its luck even further with the game WiiNap (and accompanying pillow accessory). It's all about sleeping, resting, snoozing, and somehow letting your Wii know whether you're awake or not.Reality: A little over a year after this story ran in issue 180, Nintendo revealed the Wii Vitality Sensor. When presenting the device during the press conference, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata remarked: "Games have been used for stimulation, but maybe it won't be long until
games are used for relaxation and even to fall asleep." We'll have to be more careful in the future – apparently Game Infarcer is a weapon that wields universe-altering power.
Email the author Joe Juba, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Game Informer.