Thursday, April 1, 2010

Believe everything you read: All Nintendo-related April Fools' Day hoaxes are real

From the fake Zelda movie trailer of 2008 to the "WiiDS" of this year's Game Infarcer, every Nintendo-related April Fools' "hoax" was actually a calculated market-testing exercise executed by the Big N itself. "It's cheap, risk-free market testing. It's brilliant!" said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. "It's the most ingenious move by the company since the very creation of the Nintendo Entertainment System!".

"Yes, every single one of these 'hoaxes' is entirely true," admitted Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. "We use this day to gauge public opinion of our in-development products, and we adjust or cancel these projects according to reception."

Every year, Nintendo sends out these in-production ideas to news outlets around the world, then monitors the comment section over the next 24 hours and takes notes on the public's reactions. At the end of the day, the news is "revealed" to be nothing more than a joke, and Nintendo returns to work on the project with the commenters' criticism's taken into consideration.

"Once all suggestions are implemented, the project often takes a turn in an entirely different direction," elaborates Iwata. "For example, the Zelda movie trailer we released with IGN turned into the mere addition of a few extra cinematics in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. We realized that no film we made could possibly live up to the expectations of the people in that comment section, so we turned our film-making attention to our upcoming DS game."

"In fact, most of our ideas are often met with less-than-perfect reception, meaning no 'controlled hoax' so far has ever been released looking even slightly similar to its beta form, if it ever even saw release at all. The Super Smash Bros. Brawl X: Extreme prototype we also demoed with IGN was canceled entirely after an incredible backlash over peoples' childhood idols being brutally massacred. The 'Wii Expand' idea detailed in the same article was also canned, as it just seemed too much like what the players wanted."

But what of the 3DS, announced mere days before Nintendo's annual testing of the public's opinion? "This was just too costly a project to alter in any way," says Iwata "We can't change anything about the 3DS as, sadly, we've exhausted the project's entire budget. All we can do now is release the 3DS as it is and hope the public embraces it. In addition, if we take it back into development now, Sony will undoubtedly get the jump on us and release their own 'me too' handheld in no time. We can't let them win!"

"This is an important yearly exercise for the company, and we'll continue to execute it for many years to come," says Fils-Aime. Now that the secret's out in the open, though, the test results will be contaminated, will they not? "There's no need to worry about [that]. Now that this practice has been made public, we'll be sending several actual hoaxes out with every fake hoax, and we'll refrain from telling the recipient which is which. All will be published as April Fools' articles, the readers won't know what's what, and things will be back to normal. We're Nintendo. We think things through."

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