You may have seen some Nintendo buzz on the waves today, after a seemingly-innocent Mario Kart 8 advert popped up on the company's YouTube channel.
While the commercial simply depicts a family enjoying a game of Mario Kart, something strange happens at around eight seconds in. We see what (we assume to be) the dad is holding, and it doesn't look like the Wii U GamePad we're familiar with. It might be blurry but it's clearly a smaller controller.
So what's going on? The likely answer is bad editing. We suspect that the screen was superimposed on a gamepad to either make the display look brighter, or make the pad not look so chunky.
But yes, the other possibility is that this is a sneaky tease from Nintendo for a new, smaller GamePad. We've contacted Nintendo about it but we're yet to get an answer, however it's been pointed out that this is an old advert.
So while it's still possible that this is a sneaky tease from Nintendo, it seems unlikely.
But wait, there's more!
That said, it definitely feels like the Wii U is due a hardware update. What makes us slightly more hopeful is a separate discovery on the Nintendo eShop, where one person found an icon of a smaller GamePad (shown left, source here).
Few would disagree that the current GamePad could do with losing a few pounds. And as Nintendo charges out of a reasonably successful 2014 and into a promising 2015, now would be a great time for a hardware revision.