Fact Check-Viral photo of Nintendo console displaying national mourning period message created by Twitter user as satire

Contrary to claims circulating online, Nintendo did not display a message on its UK devices indicating that their consoles would be unavailable during the “royal period of mourning”. A widely shared photograph circulating on social media shows two fabricated screens that a Twitter user confirmed he created as a joke.

“I shouldn’t have bought a 2ds in the UK right,” reads a tweet with the photo which has garnered over 36,900 retweets at the time of writing (here). Iterations can also be found on Facebook (here) (here) (here).

The message visible on one of the screens of the Nintendo device reads: “Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022. This device is unavailable during the period of royal mourning and will remain so until Monday September 19th. The other screen shows a black and white photograph of Queen Elizabeth, who died at her home in Scotland on September 8 at the age of 96 (here).

“Family obsession is ridiculous,” wrote one Facebook user. “It’s funny, but it’s still bully shit. You should be able to grieve your way, without getting the things you own and paying to take them away,” one tweet read.

A Nintendo UK spokesperson told Reuters the image in the tweet “is not real”.

Twitter user @LucasIsPersonal, who originally posted the widely shared image, confirmed to Reuters that he created the custom “splash screen”.

“The tweet was intended as a joke,” he told Reuters by email.

On September 12, Nintendo UK announced on Twitter that they would not be livestreaming Nintendo Direct on September 13 “as a sign of respect during this time of national mourning” (here). Nintendo Direct are a series of online presentations by Nintendo (here).

The British government has decreed the start of a period of national mourning on September 9, which is expected to last until the end of the day of the state funeral scheduled for September 19 (here).

VERDICT

Satire. Nintendo did not post a message announcing that its devices in the UK would be “unavailable” for the “royal period of mourning”. This viral image was created by a Twitter user as a joke.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Learn more about our fact-checking work (here).

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