Nintendo Wii
Image: Damien McFerran / Nintendo Life

Nintendo has made headlines of late thanks to the impending closure of the Wii U and 3DS eShops, an event that has shell-shocked many members of the Nintendo community.

It's easy to see, then, why a story about Wii consoles 'self-destructing' might actually be taken seriously by less well-informed people, and that's exactly what happened when satirical site Hard Drive ran such a news item.

The site – which is often described as "The Onion of the video game world", posted the following (fake) quote from Nintendo of America's Doug Bowser:

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. 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.

Most people will have realised that this was a satirical piece instantly, but enough were caught out that fact-checking site Snopes ran a piece debunking the story. Snopes has made a name for itself by analysing rumours and reporting online, giving each story a rating of 'True' or 'False'.

So, if any of your more 'casual' gaming pals approach you in a fluster claiming that their Wii is doing to die in a ball of flame soon, you can at least point them to this story to put their minds at ease.