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Nintendo NX controller reports gather pace

UPDATE: Both leakers reveal it was a hoax. Here's how the fake prototype was made.

UPDATE 25/03/2016 12.17pm The second source of the leak has also admitted this whole thing was a hoax and even released the following YouTube video explaining how the false prototype was made.

Clearly the man behind the hoax, Frank Sandqvist, went to a lot of work manifesting this gag in reality. It may be a fake, but it's a really good fake - even if Sandqvist himself admits that it's uncomfortable to hold.

UPDATE 24/03/2016 11.50pm It's now looking less likely that this controller is the real McCoy, as the Redditer who leaked the first pictures has now revealed that the whole thing was a hoax.

Redditer Idriss2Dev was behind the original pictures, which they've now debunked in the following video:

While we're not sure exactly where the newer, far more convincing, pictures originally emanated from (they were posted on Reddit), the debunking of the original leaked photo suggests that the follow-up pictures were frauds as well - whether they were from the same source or someone merely adding their own mark to the breadcrumb trail.

That being said, the original patent still holds up, so there's still a slight chance the design is real, even if the initial photos weren't. That seems like a stretch, however. Guess we'll have to see when E3 comes around in mid-June.

ORIGINAL STORY 23/03/2014 6.01pm Multiple reports claiming to detail Nintendo's NX controller have surfaced online this week, the latest two of which include photos apparently of the console pad.

Today's alleged "leak" is the the third time we have seen suggestion the NX's controller will have an oval form factor - something initially suggested in a Nintendo patent spotted late last year.

Photos which claim to be of the controller - or, to be exact, a prototype version included with the latest NX developer kits - show an oval device that looks like a cross between an iPhone and a PlayStation Vita.

The controller's face is covered by a giant LCD screen, with space for two analogue thumb pads on either side. Shoulder buttons sit on the top edge of the pad, while the bottom features a headphone jack and what looks to be a camera.

The photos, below, were posted to Reddit earlier today.

Today's photos.

It is the same form factor which popped up earlier this week in another alleged leak - this time with the controller's body in white.

Monday's photo.

And before all of that, an official Nintendo patent which surfaced in December detailed the same controller design, this time with a standardised controller shape shell.

Nintendo patent from December 2015.

While the above patent is definitely from Nintendo, the company registers plenty of ideas and designs which are never seen again. But the subsequent appearance of the controller in two form factors from different sources suggests there may be more to it.

And here's another point of interest. Today's Reddit post mentions the controller has scroll wheels for shoulder buttons - which fits with yet another controller patent Nintendo registered last September.

The patent document Nintendo filed includes earlier controller designs than the one shown above. The pad lacks the oval shape and front-covering LCD screen. But a smaller LCD screen is still present and the scroll wheels for shoulder buttons are highlighted in the patent's documentation. The design is almost a mid-way hybrid between the Wii U GamePad and Nintendo's latter patent (and this week's photos).

Nintendo patent from September 2015.

Nintendo has yet to say anything about its mysterious new hardware, which is expected to arrive late this year.

Eurogamer understands larger studios have had NX development kits for a while, although the contents and design of these tend to change as Nintendo gets closer to deciding on a final form factor.

If legitimate, the appearance of these photos may suggest Nintendo has extended its development kit programme to more developers, or that it has only now started sending out prototypes for its controller.

The lack of any photos showing the actual NX console may point to the form factor for this not yet being locked down either. Often, developers work on PC kits tuned to benchmark technical specs for the console in question.

Nintendo has yet to say when it will reveal more about NX, although if it is to launch this year then the platform will almost certainly be shown at this year's E3 event in June.

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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.