Nov 18, 2016 | By Benedict

For the second time in a year, a 3D printed fake Nintendo console has fooled a portion of the online gaming community. With the Nintendo Switch due to be released in March 2017, a YouTuber named Etika convinced some viewers that the video game giant had sent him an early version of the console.

Remember Frank Sandqvist’s fake, 3D printed “Nintendo NX” controller from earlier this year? Well, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me, because the designer has done it all over again, this time creating a 3D printed Nintendo Switch controller after getting a call from Etika, a Nintendo-focused YouTuber who has racked up some serious views in the wake of this latest controversy. Can’t we all just wait for the official release?

Etika, who runs the Etika World Network channel, recently uploaded two videos of himself apparently in possession of the “Switch,” Nintendo’s hotly anticipated new modular console that can be played either on televisions or on-the-move. Etika’s uploads caused a ripple in the online gaming community, with some viewers beside themselves with excitement and others, unsurprisingly, extremely skeptical. Hadn’t they seen something like this—something a lot like this—not so long ago?

They had indeed, because this latest Nintendo hoax was actually carried out by the same 3D printing expert responsible for the last one. Frank Sandqvist, co-founder of Finland’s CNC Design, used a Formlabs Form 2 3D printer, a laser cutter, and lots of black spray paint to create a fake Nintendo NX controller back in March. Not content with carrying out the prank once, however, the designer whipped out his tools again to take advantage of the recent Nintendo Switch hype, changing the design to visually resemble the console seen in recent promos.

Etika poses with fake, 3D printed Nintendo Switch

In fairness to Sandqvist, the designer did not—on this occasion—actually try to convince anyone of the authenticity of his 3D printed hoax. That task was left to Etika, who, in one of his uploaded videos, bounced around his room, clearly over the moon that Nintendo, a notoriously secretive brand, had singled him out to receive an advance copy of its forthcoming console. Really, it’s a wonder how anyone still falls for this stuff…

The game was up for Etika when Sandqvist posted a seven-minute video revealing the 3D printing process behind the fake console, simultaneously explaining that Etika had commissioned the fake. “As it turns out, the NX isn’t actually named ‘NX,’ and it doesn’t look like [the design shown in an old Nintendo patent],” Sandqvist said. “It’s called the Nintendo Switch—I’m sure you’ve all seen the video—and it has detachable controllers. This is actually a replica that we made for Etika at EW Network. It’s made using a combinaton of 3D printing, UV printing, laser cutting, a bunch of sanding, spray painting, [and] gluing.”

A few days later, Etika eventually admitted to the hoax, conceding that he and Sandqvist had conspired on the prank. While some duped viewers might have felt a little disappointed by the revelations, most were just a little exasperated with the whole ordeal—“well, duh,” they thought. Of course, tricks like these are simply a product of the internet age we live in. People want to hear about exciting news, regardless of its truth; other people want thousands of YouTube subscribers. The result? 3D printed fake Nintendo controllers, apparently.

The real Nintendo Switch is due to be released March 2017

The phenomenon of people using 3D printers to create video game stuff is not, however, inherently bad. In fact, it has produced some pretty amazing things. Lovers of the Nintendo 64 console (a machine which has yet to be rebranded in a “classic” edition) have used 3D printing to create spare parts for the device’s breakage-prone, M-shaped controllers. Elsewhere, the tech wizards at Adafruit have put out a series of 3D printable Gameboy-style devices that use Raspberry Pi computers and emulator software to bring back old portable games like Pokémon. Overall, gaming and 3D printing can go hand-in-hand rather nicely.

The real Nintendo Switch has been given a release date of March 2017. Nintendo’s other new console, a Christmas-friendly re-release of the ultra-retro Nintendo Entertainment System, known as the NES Classic Edition or Nintendo Classic Mini, is currently in huge demand, with gamers keen to revisit the gaming experience of the late 1980s. See Etika's and Sandqvist's respective Switch videos below.



Posted in Fun with 3D Printing



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