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Both Nintendo NX Controller Hoax Perpetrators Tell Us How They Tricked The Internet

by Kyle Hilliard on Mar 25, 2016 at 12:30 PM

The Internet was recently enamored by a convincing fake mock-up of a Nintendo NX controller. Assorted message boards debated its veracity, and a few days later another photo appeared of a similar controller. Yesterday, the creator of the original mock-up came clean, showing off the process of how he created the image. A video showing how the second photo was created appeared hours later, detailing how its creator designed and 3D-printed the controller. We were able to speak to both creators through e-mail to see how the projects came together independently.

Anatole Korczak David Louis-Marie created the original image. He's a mobile-game developer who publishes mobile games under the name Noname Games and has so far released three games.

Editor's note: I spoke with Anatole Korczak over e-mail and mistakenly believed he had created the image. Korczak followed up to let me know he was only translating for his friend David Louis-Marie, who was the one who had actually created the image.

Why did you decide to do this? Were you hoping it could help point people to your games after revealing yourself?
I'm a fan of Nintendo and I like what they do, and I decided to make it for fun. I did not think it would catch so much attention.

How long did it take?
The creation started 10 days ago, when I made drawings and some different designs. I've never studied graphic design, so I'm self-educated.

Have you done anything like this before?
I made another fake console that you can see here.

Why pick the Nintendo NX? Was your design based only on the patent?
I'm a fan of Nintendo, and I'm enthusiastic about this new console. The design was purely based on the patent with some modifications, as well as other rumors. I didn't have any inside knowledge of the future console.

Once you released the images, did you work with anyone to cultivate the hype?
The images were first released on Reddit and I also sent an email to Dualpixel. Nothing more.

How did you feel about the reactions before you revealed yourself?
I was hungry and tired! I was thinking there would be be a lot more hate reactions. I followed all the reactions, articles, forums, and news about it. It was fun because a lot laughed about it and others hated it. There were two teams, #teamreal which believed it and the #teamfake (on Neogaf), which wanted to prove that it was fake. Many people thought it was 3D printed and not a render.

What did you think of the 3D printed follow-up hoax? Did you guys interact at all?
With the first comment on Reddit, I said that I would maybe send other pictures and videos. Many expected me to do a 3D print (via 3dhub) with my model and to send out a photo and video of the print. Then the other photo appeared and I decided to make my video in three hours with After Effects. The photo of the other fake made me rush on it. My idea was to make a video where I removed the adhesive to reveal the word, "FAKE".

Do you have any regrets? Would do anything differently if you were to do it again?
Yes, I would have continued the fake and put the video I posted yesterday on YouTube on April 1. I also would have added changing buttons on the pad and made the console with the pad.

Are you excited about NX? Are you worried about Wii U?
Yes, for sure. I follow all the news about Nintendo and also rumors. For me, the Wii U has not been on my mind since they announced the new console.

After revealing yourself, did you hear anything from Nintendo?
Yes, they sent me a Nintendo NX. Do you want a picture of it?

Coming Up Next: Read our interview with the man who created the 3D-printed controller, and see the fabled tree that Internet detectives believed connected the game to Ubisoft Massive...

Frank Sandqvist created a 3D-printed mock-up of Louis-Marie's controller and similarly dropped a photo online to stir up the rumor mill. Sandqvist works for CNC Design in Finland, a company that specializes in laser engraving and cutting, making him uniquely qualified to craft the hoax. We asked Sandqvist a series of similar questions over e-mail.

Why did you decide to do this? Were you hoping it could help point people to your company after revealing yourself?
I wanted to see how easily I could trick the Internet. Also when I first saw that first image, I thought to myself, “I can definitely make that with our equipment,” so I just wanted to make it, too, just as a challenge. Being able to leak it later was a very fun bonus.

I was thinking of including our company more in the reveal (even revealing it directly via the company). It would have been great advertising, but I think that would rub a lot of people the wrong way and it would be unprofessional, seeing as it leeches from other people's work and Nintendo.

How long did it take overall to create the model? How much did that model cost to manufacture?
The modelling took around two hours, the print 14 hours, and the after-print work around 4 hours. I would estimate the 3D-printing resin to be around 10 euro (~$10), the acrylic 2 euro (~$2), and then I also had to buy two 5-euro (~$5) spray-paint cans.

Have you done anything like this before?
I’ve thought about it, but haven’t had the equipment required.

Were you confident Louis-Marie's Photoshop was fake? Or did this project start as an attempt to make a physical version of what you believed could be real?
I wasn’t sure. Though some people on NeoGAF had some pretty convincing proof that it was fake.

How did you feel about the reactions before you revealed yourself?
I don’t think I have had as much fun in a very long time, reading how people now basically said Nintendo was doomed to release this (obviously real) super-weird controller with no buttons, while others were actually supportive of it and thought it looked sleek. At one point I even almost started to believe my own fake leak from reading 150 NeoGAF pages.

How uncomfortable is your controller to hold?
Quite. It definitely needs grips to be anywhere close to comfortable.

Did you have any interaction with the creator of the original Photoshop?
Not yet. I messaged him on YouTube, but I haven’t gotten in contact with him yet.

Are you excited about NX? Are you worried about Wii U?
It’s always fun to see what Nintendo cooks up. I don’t think they’ll make the same mistake twice and pull another Wii U. I’m sure it’ll be something special. As for excited, I don’t know. I don’t love what Nintendo has been doing as of late. Cautiously optimistic, maybe.

Did you see the in-depth discussions about the tree in the reflection and how everyone thought you might be developer Ubisoft Massive? What did you think of that? Can you take a full picture of that legendary tree for us?
Hahaha, yes! That was amazing! I’m sure a few people at Massive had a laugh at that, too. Sure! The photo is taken from the window at the top right, and the tree is the big one at the right of the picture.

Did you hear anything from Nintendo after you revealed yourself?
Nope! No ninjas yet, either.

Once you released the images, did you work with anyone to cultivate the hype?
I just uploaded it on Reddit under the name Perkele37, and let it flow from there. Though I did cheekily join the speculation on NeoGAF.

To see the videos from the two creators breaking down the process of creation, head here.