It’s been a while since we put the Rumor Mill on ice, but now that ice has officially melted and we can all check out the outlandish rumors the video game world is spewing out on a weekly basis!

We last posted a rumor mill back in July this year because of a few reasons. E3 had come and gone, so the rumors were slowing down and those that made it into the world were too stupid to be true – or for anyone to take seriously. Now that it’s back, let’s take a look at the most recent rumors and misunderstandings the world has to offer!

Nintendo Wii U to have “full blown app store”

The rumor – Nintendo will expand it’s online offerings with the Nintendo Wii U by adding a “full blown” application store to the console.

Where it came from – Website “The Daily” posted a rather forward “news” report on how Nintendo will add an Apple-esque application store to the Wii U. Interestingly, the website doesn’t cite any sources what-so-ever, does not quote any “talking head” or give any indication on where they’re getting their information. They do have a video on the website, which was ripped from the Nintendo E3 2010 website.

Here’s what the article, written by “Matt Hickey” has to say;

Wii U owners will be able to use apps that operate on the Wii U itself, such as MLB.TV, and others that run independently on the Wii U’s controller. Given its tablet-like design and 6.2-inch screen, it’s not hard to imagine being able to check email, browse the Web, post to social networks and even get some gaming in.

Fact or Fiction? Sorry to say, but this is complete fiction. We should point out that Nintendo may well offer an App store (but will more likely have an “eShop” like the Nintendo 3DS Console), but the problem here is that Matt Hickey has pulled this “information” out of his backside. The truth is that Nintendo have not pointed out their online plans – or any plans for the Wii U other than the information in this article.

Suppose we give Matt Hickey the benefit of the doubt on this one, and let’s assume that some developer has spoken to this guy despite being under a non-disclosure agreement; Hickey not once seems to allude to where this information has come from. He might as well have written “Nintendo Wii U comes with Bionic Bunny Controllers that eat Fish and can fly”. It’s just as likely at this point.

PlayStation Vita, and every single handheld gaming device, is failing (except anything Apple makes)

The rumor – PlayStation Vita only sold 73,000 consoles in Japan on it’s second week of sales, meaning that all video game consoles are doomed – unless, of course, they’re made by Apple.

Where it came from – Forbes Magazine website’s Tero Kuittinen posted an article in the wake of Media Create’s weekly hardware sales posting that stipulates that because PlayStation Vita’s sales were dramatically down on it’s second week of sales, all handheld video game consoles are doomed (except Apple).

He also suggests that Sony will be “forced to reduce the price” of the console “very soon”, though doesn’t back this statement up with any reason what-so-ever. For all Kuittinen knows, Sony’s sales target could have been significantly less than what they sold in the second week.

Perhaps the most cringe-worthy paragraph in the report is this one;

Sony has approached the PS Vita launch in America with arrogance, pricing the console and games high while opting to debut the device during the slow retail month of February. Mobile app sales more than doubled during the Christmas of 2011 – solid triple digit volume growth. In the meanwhile, even in the Japanese heartland of video games, video game software unit sales are set to decline by double digits in 2011.

Apparently, even home console software sales are “set to decline”; whatever that means (and I wonder who set it…). Needless to say, we feel that this one is;

Fact or Fiction? Complete crap. What we have here is a biased article written by someone who seems to be all hyped up on the Apple App store that it’s impairing whatever data analysis skills he might have once held.

For a start, Japan doesn’t really celebrate Christmas. Those that do are more inclined to have a family dinner than shower each other in gifts like we in the West seem to enjoy. This means that video game hardware releases are less likely to have a massive impact in Japan next to Christmas than it would in America.

Let’s also factor in that Japan is currently obsessed with the release of “Monster Hunter Tri: 3G” on Nintendo 3DS, which was released on the same day as PlayStation Vita. This has significantly marred the Vita’s launch in Japan, but doesn’t explain the initial weekend of over 300,000 unit sales. What might is the fact that Vita is not avalible anywhere else in the world until February, and what is usual in hardware releases of this nature, hundreds of (mostly Chinese) importers will go around and snatch up stock to sell to an unwitting public. That’s one theory.

Vita will likely find it’s legs once it sees a worldwide release; the real question is can Apple’ iPhone stand up to the pressure of these powerful, dedicated (and much cheaper) handheld consoles that offer much more than 2-minute distractions? But that’s an article for another day.

Super Smash Bros. Universe Details Revealed for Wii U

The rumor – Nintendo’s upcoming sequel to the popular Super Smash Bros. games will feature King K. Rool, Ghirahim and Krystal (from Starfox Adventures). Some concept images have also been leaked.

Where it came from – A member of the online image board 4Chan posted some images from what he says is “leaked Smash Bros. Universe information”. The images show Ridley (from the Metroid series) and a Slime (from the Dragon Quest series), as well as a memo written in Japanese and on what looks like Nintendo stationary. Here are the images;

Fact or Fiction? We weren’t convinced for a couple of reasons – the first is the fact that the images were very basic. The second is the crappiness of the image quality. The third was the fact that when Nintendo announced the game at E3, they didn’t mention a name for the title, and the lead developer voiced his annoyance of it being announced when development was yet to begin.

With our skeptical hats firmly on, we did a quick check of the image’s EXIF data and were surprised to find the photos were taken with a Nintendo DSi. This is odd because if you were in a situation where you want to quickly take a photo of something, booting up a DSi would be the slowest possible option, especially when pretty much everyone carries a mobile phone these days. The data also showed that the Slime photo was taken back on September 24, the others just the other day.

EXIF data, in case you were wondering, is a type of “meta data” your camera records onto digital images which can tell the time and date the photo was taken, what camera was used, and even what settings your camera was set on. Many cameras use this function to add a type of permanent copyright to the digital image.

So with this in mind, we have to ask ourselves; is it plausible that a Nintendo employee thought to whip out his Nintendo DSi, take the image, wait a few seconds, turn off his console, take out the SD card and run to a computer? Since the DSi doesn’t contain a GPS chip, we can’t be sure where the photo was taken, and although the fact that a Nintendo DSi was used doesn’t prove the images are faked, we think that it’s more likely to be some kid’s prank and are therefore putting this one in the “fiction” bucket, until Nintendo provide us with actual information.

Thus ends another Rumor Mill, please tell us what you think of these rumors. Are they real, are they fake? Is there more evidence to be find? Let us know! Also, if you hear a rumor and want us to look into it, shoot us a line on our Tips page!

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Ty is the founder, Editor-in-Chief and nice guy of The first console Ty owned as a kid was the Sega Master System II which he used to enjoy games like Alex Kidd, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mickey Mouse. Since the early days, Ty's hobby became an obsession and over the years he has amassed a huge collection of video games from all manufacturers.

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