On March 4, 2022, a rumor was circulated on social media that the Nintendo Wii consoles were set to self-destruct in 2023:
But Nintendo did not announce this. The rumor started with a humorous piece of fiction published on the website Hard-drive.net on March 4. Here’s an excerpt from that fictional article:
Nintendo has caused controversy by announcing that any Nintendo Wii that is still in working order will incinerate upon an upcoming date next year.
“Due to changing standards in the gaming industry and better hardware being available, we think it’s best if every single Wii that is still in perfect working order just bursts into flames one day next year,” said Doug Bowser, President of Nintendo of America. Just melting and shooting parts all over across the room. Once we get this new Switch Sports game out, we really don’t want anyone enjoying a past version of it. I’m sure you understand.”
Hard-drive.net is not a genuine news website. While we couldn’t find a disclaimer on Hard-drive.net explicitly labeling its content as satire, the website’s tongue-in-cheek “about” page hints at the website’s humorous nature:
Hard Drive is a very real video games news site that you should not question. Just absorb the information as truth and move on.
The Hard Times is a very real punk news site that you should not question. Just absorb the information as truth and move on. The historic satire site was founded in December 1976. It’s made by a group of punk and hardcore kids from all the different sub-genres of the DIY hardcore scene. Any resemblance to actual persons or band names is coincidental.
This bit of satirical news appears to be poking fun at Nintendo for shutting down services for old consoles. In 2019, for example, the company shut down the Wii eShop, preventing Wii players from buying digital games for their old consoles. In February 2022, a few weeks before this satirical article went viral, Nintendo announced that it was shutting down the eShops for the Wii U and the Nintendo DS. While Nintendo users will truly lose the ability to purchase digital games on these consoles, these devices are not set to self-destruct.
McWhertor, Michael. “Nintendo Shutting down Wii U, Nintendo 3DS EShops and Frustrating Fans.” Polygon, 16 Feb. 2022, https://www.polygon.com/22937165/nintendo-wii-u-3ds-eshop-closing-date-virtual-console.
“Nintendo Announces All Still-Functioning Wiis Will Self Destruct in 2023.” Hard Drive, 4 Mar. 2022, https://hard-drive.net/nintendo-announces-all-still-functioning-wiis-will-self-destruct-in-2023/.
Nintendo Support: Wii U & Nintendo 3DS EShop Discontinuation. https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/57847/~/wii-u-%26-nintendo-3ds-eshop-discontinuation. Accessed 8 Mar. 2022.