Rumours

The Rumour Mill

rumour mill

The problem with rumours, is that they end up as fact. People seem to forget that rumours are mere suggestions of something that may come to pass. Certainly, the rumour may turn out to be true, but until it is demonstrably true, it’s not true, and therefore false.

This may seem obvious, but it seems – in today’s post-fact world more than ever – that this has been forgotten.

As an example, let’s take the Nintendo Switch. Before anyone (outside of Nintendo and some of their partners, of course) had seen it, rumours abound with what the NX would be. It would have an oval screen and no buttons. It was Wii U compatible. It was a handheld. It played 3DS games. It was download only. It ran Android. It was made by Apple. It was more powerful than a PS4. It was less powerful than a PS4. It wasn’t hardware at all, it was actually just a software platform, like Steam. And so on.

Clearly some of these contradict others, some were more likely than others, and some come from more reputable sources than others. Like Schrödinger’s cat, however, until we knew for sure, we couldn’t possibly know.

Now, I’m not saying rumours are a bad thing. I enjoy the speculation and hype as much as anyone, and when something I think will happen, does, of course I get the warm glow from being right and smug. But it is important to remember not to get too caught up in the guesswork and lies that are mixed in with the half-truths and unverified facts.

Some people were genuinely disappointed that Nintendo didn’t provide what Nintendo said they were going to provide because of course: They didn’t say anything of the sort. Someone else said something and then through misunderstanding, trolling, or Chinese whispers the truth turned out to be nonsense.

Related to this are the currently circulating facts about that Mario game from the Switch reveal video. It’s a launch title. It’s like Mario 64 in level structure. It’s based on a Mushroom Kingdom version of Mexico. All that, from a few seconds of a game which actually might not exist at all. Yes, it is highly likely there’ll be a Mario title for the Switch. It’s reasonable to expect it might be available at launch. It’s certainly possible it is Mexican in theme. But none of this is actually true yet. “But of course it is!” you might say. “It was in the video! Why would Nintendo show it if it didn’t exist?!”.

Well, let me just leave you with this:

What a fantastic Zelda game that was for the Wii U, eh? Shown there, at E3 that time. Wow, the fun we had with that when it finally came out, right? Right?

No. BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXIST. It was a demo for demo purposes only. There’s every chance that Mario, in the Switch video, could be equally vapourous. It’s not likely, but it has happened before. Rumours, see?


The featured image is by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT, is unmodified, and is used under this licence.

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