No, the ‘leaked’ Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom OLED Switch isn't real

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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Switch OLED can
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Switch OLED can't be real (Image: Nintendo)

Whenever a big exclusive is set to come out, the rumour mill always goes into hyperdrive with speculation over whether there’ll be a shiny new limited edition console. And when Zelda and Nintendo are concerned, doubly so.

Over the weekend, pictures were posted to fan forum Famiboards that appear to show a limited edition Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom-themed OLED out in the wild.

Now I’m not here to say that there won’t be a Zelda-themed Switch at some point. We already have -themed Joy-Con, and pretty much every Nintendo system since the DS has had a Zelda-themed version at some point.

There was even a Wind Waker Wii U. So it would be a safe bet to assume there will be a Nintendo Switch with a ruddy great Triforce on the back of it at some point – maybe even for Tears of the Kingdom, I just don’t think this is it.

Bursting the bubble

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this clearly fake, though admittedly it’s very cleverly constructed. From a cursory glance, it all looks about right, but as with most forgeries – the devil is in the details...

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The first thing that struck me was that the pair of Joy-Cons don’t quite look right. In the shot of them nestled in the packaging, the right joy-con seems to be missing its Infra Red camera. Also, Nintendo hasn’t released any metallic Joy-Cons. The trend has been to stick to a set range of colours; even the multi-coloured Joy-Cons are still made up of colours that have previously been used on other sets.

Then when you look at the Switch itself, it’s incredibly plain. Look at the other limited edition Switch OLED models released thus far and they both feature bright, exciting artwork on the back. There’s not even a Triforce on it. Just the same swirly pattern which also covers the rest of the box. I just don’t think Nintendo would have such a drab design on the back of what will likely be one of the console’s last big flagship releases, especially if Nintendo's next-gen could start in 2024

Before I get into all of the nit-picky stuff, here’s the big one for me: the box isn’t right. Assuming Nintendo has a standard carton for the Switch OLED, the interior of the one shown in the pictures isn’t it. There’s a clear thumb hole to lift the unit out of the carton. The OLED box instead has a large gap at the bottom of the carton to help you lift it out.

Finally, the composition and subjects are decidedly sus. First there’s the odd cropping of the pictures so you never see the whole of the box. And there's also no pictures of the system outside of the box, or with the Joy-Cons attached or working. If you were leaking pictures of a system you have pinched from work, why not go all out?

The perspective is also flat, the Switch logo is too bright compared to the rest of the box, and finally – whoever took these ‘photos’, according to the timestamp, managed to take three shots of a single box from different angles, in a minute. Something that, due to the speed at which most phone cameras take photos and how each shot is presented is physically impossible.

We all want a Zelda-themed OLED Switch. It’s 129 days until the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. But come on, I’m sure that Nintendo can come up with something better than this design. Especially considering we’re talking about the sequel to . One of the best games ever made.

Gareth Newnham

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation