Ten Great (but Fake) Tech and Science Videos
She's a Wii, and She's a PlayStation 3
Spoofs of Apple's famously smug "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" ads are everywhere, but none is quite so hilarious as G4's goof featuring different anthropomorphized archrivals: a Nintendo Wii and a Sony PlayStation 3. Here, the Wii is portrayed as a rather daft yet peppy and scantily clad blonde beauty, while the PS3 is an eggheaded and admittedly overweight girl geek.
Their interplay sounds surprisingly much as it might in real life, without the gaming conceit. But the faux commercial finds its comic genius in its skewering of both consoles. The Wii dazzles you with its sexiness so you don't realize it has nothing new under the hood, while the PS3 forsakes everything else in its quest to outsmart the competition. Best line: "Have you ever even heard of the Blu-ray? It's the future!"
One of the things that make this clip so compelling is how humble it is in ambition and presentation. Who would expect a corporate-looking, low-budget video from "Infinite Solutions," hosted by protogeek Mark Erickson, to perpetuate one of the Web's most enduring hoaxes?
The absurd setup procedure is a dead giveaway: By following a complicated series of steps involving your Gmail account (don't use that spacebar!), Erickson says, you can earn access to GoogleTV, a top-secret Web site where you can watch current network TV shows on demand. Erickson also notes that the procedure could require some repetition to work: It took him only 11 tries.
This video convinced a lot of people that GoogleTV was real, despite reports from hopeful watchers that they had followed his lengthy steps hundreds of times--without success--in an attempt to gain access to the service.
After hoax allegations first surfaced, Erickson returned with a follow-up video "proving" that GoogleTV was legit, and oblivious supporters (and fellow pranksters) continue to insist that it's the real deal. Erickson still produces vaguely believable tech tutorials (including a Wi-Fi signal enhancer that many viewers found credible enough to try), though lately he has delved into outright video gags.
In this 2005 short, 6 minutes of rapid-fire video rocket us through the history of Nintendo as we know it, culminating not with the Wii but with one deeply obsessed fanatic's opinion of what the future should hold for the popular console maker. That future is the Nintendo On, a next-generation device shaped like a large snail and complete with a VR headset.
Containing no dialogue, the infomercial offers sneak peeks at not only the hardware of the future, but the 3D titles that will run on it, too. While it has since been debunked as a fan creation, in the pre-Wii era many people thought it was the real thing. In a 1up interview, creator and art student Pablo Belmonte said the five nonstop days of creating the On video ended with him sick in bed from exhaustion.