Nintendo boss Reggie Fils-Aime has admitted that footage used during the Wii U's reveal reel at the Electronics Entertainment Expo yesterday actually came from rival consoles, casting a cloud over the company's well-received launch event.
When the Wii U was unveiled yesterday, much of the event was given over to its innovative tablet-like controller. Despite this, Nintendo was keen to push the third-party support of the platform, showcasing a variety of titles which the last-generation Wii would have struggled to handle.
During a live interview with GameTrailers, however, Fils-Aime was forced to admit that the videos featured were stock footage from previously released Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the titles.
Asked directly whether the footage was recycled from other consoles, Fils-Aime replied: "Absolutely, because we're talking a year away from when the system's going to launch." Pushed further, he claimed that the graphics were representative of what will be achievable on the console.
"In terms of how good it looks, it's going to be driven by what the individual developers do," he clarified. "It's going to be 1080p, it's going to be high definition. You're going to see games that take full advantage of a system that has the latest technology and can push out some incredible graphics."
The use of ever-so-slightly misleading footage to advertise games and consoles is nothing new, of course. Microsoft was recently slapped on the wrist by the Advertising Standards Authority for using footage from the PlayStation 3 to advertise the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII, as but one example.
Older gamers might remember the days of the microcomputer, when box artwork would be shared between Commodore C64, Spectrum, Atari, Amiga, and even PC versions of the game. Many used screenshots from the best looking variant - typically the Amiga version - without accurate labelling, leaving buyers with older systems feeling short changed.
While much of the gaming press is accusing Nintendo of bait-and-switch, Fils-Aime's excuse appears to ring true. While pre-production hardware is clearly present, as visitors to Nintendo's stand at E3 were able to play on the Wii U, third-party developers have likely not had enough time to push the console to its limits yet.
The stunt does leave Nintendo at risk, however: if games don't at least equal the visual splendour of their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts when the Wii U launches next year, gamers are likely to call the company out on its broken promise.
The full interview with Reggie Fils-Aime can be found over on GameTrailers.